2 airport agents charged for faking travel records of ex-Wirecard exec

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    GRAFT and falsification of public documents charges were filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday against two immigration officers assigned at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for doctoring the travel records of former Wirecard chief operating officer Jan Marsalek in June.

    The NBI complaint sheet showed that Perry Michael Pancho was assigned at the Cebu airport, while Marcus Nicodemus was deployed at the NAIA.

    The two employees were accused of falsifying Mersalek’s travel records and making it appear that he arrived at NAIA on June 23 this year and left for China the next day via Cebu.

    But the NBI said its investigation showed that it was impossible for Marsalek to have entered the country at the said date, noting the strict inbound and outbound travel restrictions that were part of the government’s control strategies against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

    “The investigation showed that Mr. Marsalek’s most recent travel records to the country include spurious ones, to wit: Arrival on June 23, 2020 at NAIA Terminal 1 processed by a certain IO Darren Ilagan but with a mysterious “cancelled by user” remark, and a departure on June 24, 2020 at Mactan International Airport processed by IO Perry Michael Pancho,” the NBI said.

    Marsalek is being pursued by German authorities for his role in the $2.2 billion Wirecard fraud in Germany. He was dismissed from his post amid the company’s claims that they had placed billions of dollars in funds under the trust of two banks in the Philippines that allegedly later went missing.

    The NBI’s International Airport Investigation Division discovered that Ilagan was not among the immigration officers were who officially on duty for the midnight flight schedule on June 23.

    “Likewise, Mr. Marsalek’s departure is spurious based on the following: CCTV footages at the MCIA on June 24, 2020 showing that the BI counters are unmanned because there are no available flights immediately before and after the supposed spurious flights, absence of an actual scanned data page of Mr. Marsalek’s passport,” the NBI said.

    “The entries on the BI records for June 23 and 24, 2020, both spurious, appear to be mere diversionary in order to divert the attention of the authorities in Europe to focus its attention in the Philippines and not in their jurisdiction,” it added.

    The complaint said a certification was also issued by the Philippine Airport Ground Staff/ Cebu Station Flight Dispatcher indicating that the supposed flight was cancelled already cancelled as early as February 1 due to COVID-19 restrictions.