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SINGAPORE: A 46-year-old man was arrested on Monday (Aug 30) in relation to falsified letters allegedly issued by a director from business administration company Citadelle to Wirecard, the collapsed German payments firm.

The man will be charged in court on Wednesday. 

The man allegedly abetted a company director from Citadelle to issue a letter to a Wirecard subsidiary to “falsely represent” that Citadelle held a balance of about €86.4 million (S$137.2 million) in an escrow account as of Dec 30, 2016, when Citadelle actually did not maintain such an account, said the police on Tuesday.

Investigations are ongoing, added the police.

In July last year, the Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore announced a joint investigation into Citadelle Corporate Services, Senjo Group and its subsidiaries for suspected falsification of accounts, as well as carrying on a trust business without a licence.

To date, a 55-year-old Citadelle director has been charged with 14 counts of falsification of accounts for allegedly issuing 14 letters from Citadelle to Wirecard AG, its subsidiaries and an audit firm.

The police said the letters “falsely represented” that Citadelle held large sums of money in its escrow accounts at various points between 2015 and 2017, but the firm did not actually maintain such accounts or did not hold such balances in its accounts.

Citadelle is at the heart of an investigation in the Philippines that exposed fraudulent activity at Wirecard.

Munich-based Wirecard collapsed in June after its auditor EY refused to sign off on its 2019 accounts because it could not verify €1.9 billion supposedly held abroad in escrow by third-party partners.

Wirecard had initially claimed that a missing US$2.1 billion (S$2.9 billion) had been kept in two Philippine banks, which the banks said was not true.

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