Singapore Polices Launches Fraud Probe On Wirecard

Wirecard
FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Wirecard booth at the computer games fair Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, August 22, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo)

On Monday, the Singaporean Police Force confirmed that they are probing a report over alleged fraudulent transactions committed by German digital payment company Wirecard. The police added that they are only investigating transactions that were made by the German company in their Asian operations which included Singapore.

The alleged fraudulent transactions were first reported by Financial Times last week. The paper claimed that it had seen various documents from a number of lawyers commission by Wirecard. The paper added that they were able to find evidence of "serious offenses of forgery and/or of falsification of accounts/documents." The alleged evidence and documents were found at Wirecard's Singapore office.

According to Financial Times, one of the documents said, "There are reasons to suspect that they may have been carried out to conceal other misdeeds, such as cheating, criminal breach of trust, corruption and/or money laundering."

The report got the attention of a number of government officials and various regulatory body. Several days after the report was published, the Singaporean police force decided to launch a probe in order to get to the bottom of the issue.

Wirecard is an emerging major player in the digital payment industry. The company had risen to power recently and was able to topple banking stalwart Commerzbank out of Germany's highly-regarded DAX blue-chip index in 2018. Following the report of these alleged fraudulent transactions, Wirecard's stocks fell by about 40 percent as the market promptly reacted to the scandal.

Wirecard responded to the Financial Times report describing the story as "yet another inaccurate, misleading and defamatory." On Wednesday, Wirecard issued a statement denying the allegations being thrown at the company.

On Monday, Wirecard issued a new statement claiming that the company hired an external law firm in order to investigate the actions of some members of its financial team based in Singapore. The statement also claimed that the law firm did not find inconclusive findings regarding criminal misconduct by an employee of the company. Wirecard also said that a member of its Singapore team has brought the issue of alleged fraud to light in April 2018.

The allegations have something to do with compliance breaches in accounting between 2015 and 2018. It covers a number of possible fraudulent revenue reporting, as well as the internal exchange of intellectual properties.

Wirecard hired the services of Rajah and Tann law firm in order to launch a separate and independent investigation.

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