Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

The Philippines opens Wirecard probe

Authorities in the Philippines have launched an investigation linked to the accounting scandal at German payment company Wirecard, according to reports.

The justice secretary of the Philippines, Menardo Guevarra, reportedly said there are indications that Wirecard’s former COO, Jan Marsalek, who was fired on 22 June, is in the Philippines.

Wirecard admitted on 18 June that it could not account for €1.9 billion in its accounts, potentially due to fraudulent transactions.

Munich prosecutors arrested the company’s former CEO, Markus Braun, on 22 June. He has not commented on the matter.

FRC investigates London Capital & Finance auditors

The UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has launched an investigation into three audit firms over their audits of collapsed mini-bond provider London Capital & Finance.

The FRC said on 24 June that it is investigating Big Four firms EY and PwC over their audits of the company for the 2016/17 and 2015/16 financial years, respectively. The agency is also probing Oliver Clive & Co for its 2014/15 audit.

LC&F entered administration in January 2019. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating the circumstances of the collapse.

The firms have not publicly commented on the matter.

HK SFC reports increased AML breaches in on-site inspections

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) reported a 65% increase in anti-money laundering (AML) breaches discovered through on-site inspections for the 2019/20 financial year.

The agency revealed in its annual report published on 24 June that it found 331 violations of its AML guidelines, up from 201 in 2018/19.

The SFC said it fined licensed entities a total of HK$479 million (US$57.5 million) for the year, almost half the HK$940 million in penalties from the year before. 

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