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Bellingcat: The World's Most Wanted Man, Marsalek, has probably fled through Estonia

The world's most wanted man, Marsalek, a participant in billion-dollar fraud, has probably fled through Estonia.

Jan Marsalek

Currently, one of the most wanted people in the world, Jan Marsalek, the Austrian business manager of the German financial technology company Wirecard, probably fled through Estonia to Belarus, says Bellingcat, a group of investigative journalists and activists.

Wirecard collapsed overnight last month after auditors found a $ 2 billion deficit on the company's balance sheet. There should have been money in the bank accounts of the East Asian trustees, but there was not. Jan Marsalek, a 40-year-old Austrian citizen who has been the head of Wirecard since 2010, was responsible for the company's operations in Asia, writes Bellingcat.

On June 18, the company's management was fired - including Jan Marsalek. He told his colleagues that he would go to the Philippines to prove the missing billions to prove his innocence. Later that day, he disappeared. Although according to airline reservations and immigration documents, he arrived in Manila on 23 June and onwards to China, the Philippine authorities found during the investigation that the trip had not actually taken place and that the immigration records submitted on his behalf were forged. The German and Austrian authorities accuse Marsalek of fraud and embezzlement and have declared him wanted.

Bellingcat, in collaboration with Der Spiegel and Insider, has now been able to identify the location where Marsalek fled just hours after his dismissal, to Minsk, the capital of Belarus. He probably used Estonia as a stopover, based on their research. Marsalek probably arrived in Tallinn by Lufthansa plane or private plane from Frankfurt and after a few tens of minutes flew by private plane to Minsk.

Bellingcat also revealed that records and data kept by the Russian security service's FSB suggest that the Russian security service had a long-standing interest in Marsalek, who used several different passports - including a third-country diplomatic passport - to visit Russia dozens of times in the last 15 years. At least once, in 2017, Russian security forces probably held a long conversation with Marsalek in Moscow.

European security agencies suspect the man of links to Russia's special services.

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