As the arrest of Nigeria’s ‘richest’ Internet fraud suspects, Hushpuppi, continues to generate reactions, a German payment company, Wirecard said it is on the trace of $2.1 billion stolen by fraudsters.
Shares of Wirecard fell by 40% after two Philippine banks said Wirecard was not its client and alleged that documents had been falsified.
According to a report by Reuters, Wirecard now faces the possibility of having to repay 2 billion euros ($2.24 billion) in bank loans if it cannot get its results signed off by its auditor on Friday, said in a statement that it could have been the victim of fraud.
The medium reported that Wirecard’s auditor EY has refused to sign off its 2019 accounts over the missing money, which sent shares in the German financial technology firm spinning on Thursday.
“It cannot be ruled out that Wirecard AG has become the aggrieved party in a case of fraud of considerable proportions,” Wirecard Chief Executive Markus Braun said in an online video.
Braun did not identify those he suspected of fraud, while BPI and BDO, the two Philippine banks, both issued statements denying any relationship with Wirecard.
“Wirecard is not a client of the bank. The document claiming the existence of a Wirecard account with BDO is a falsified document and carries forged signatures of bank officers,” BDO said.
“The matter has already been reported to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” BDO added in a statement, referring to the Philippines’ central bank.
Wirecard said its in-house auditor EY was unable to confirm the existence of 1.9 billion euros in cash balances on trust accounts, representing about a quarter of its balance sheet.
“Wirecard is not a client. Their external auditor presented to us a document that claimed that they are a client. We have determined that the document is spurious. We continue to investigate this matter,” BPI said in a statement.
Till now, Wirecard has not been able to identify the fraudsters who emptied its accounts. Yesterday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to trace the alleged $35 million stolen by Ray Hushpuppi.
The EFCC said in a statement by its spokesperson that:
“Nigerian most-wanted hacker, Ramoni Igbalode, alias Ray Hushpuppi, recently arrested by the International Police and the FBI, has considerable cases of cyber crimes being investigated by the EFCC.
“The commission is familiar with grisly details of his money laundering transactions, involving many high-profile cybercriminals facing trial in Nigeria.
“The commission is engaging with the FBI in tracing victims of his fraudulent transactions and other fraudsters having direct involvement with him. Local cyber criminals with money laundering networks with him are also being investigated,”
“Hushpuppi was arrested on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 in United Arab Emirates in connection with $35million ventilator scam,” the statement said.
Earlier today, we reported that Cubana Chief Priest, the major promoter of Cubana Night Club, has been arrested by the operatives of the Nigerian Police.
People who claimed to have knowledge of the matter said he is being detained for misuse of police personnel, illegal use of weapons and his unexplained extravagant lifestyle.
Cubana Chief Priest whose real name is Pascal Chibuike Okechukwu has in recent times expanded his night club across major entertainment hubs in Nigeria. Eyewitness claimed that he arrived at the Force Headquarters Annex, Lagos, around 10 am and was detained afterward.
On his Instagram page where he openly flaunts his wealth and his closeness with Nigerian musicians, he stated that he is not Twitter or Facebook. This is the same social media preference of Ray Hushpuppi.
Wirecard has not mentioned Nigerian fraudsters, but its search for the missing billions could further expand to more countries.