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German Finance Minister Scholz had known Manipulation in Wirecard since February 2019

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A progress report shows how early the Federal Minister of Finance was informed of the allegations. Now MPs are calling for a committee of inquiry.

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz had been aware of suspected manipulation by the payment service provider Wirecard since February 2019. “Information to the Finance Minister” is noted for February 19, 2019 in the progress report that the Finance Ministry sent to the Parliament on Thursday. The note states: “It was pointed out that the BaFin was investigating in all directions”. Already on February 14, 2019, the financial supervisory authority BaFin had informed the ministry that it was “investigating alleged market manipulation in all directions against Wirecard AG”.

The ministry has made a chronological order of all activities in the Wirecard case since January 2014. Afterwards, the finance secretary responsible for the case, Jörg Kukies, asked the chief  of BaFin, Felix Hufeld on 8 March 2019 “about the status of current events and BaFin’s measures”. Over the course of time, the dates become more compact. On June 22, 2020, Scholz was given detailed information again, on the same day Wirecard announces that 1.9 billion euros cannot be found.

It was only under pressure from the coalition partner CDU / CSU and the opposition in the Bundestag that the SPD-led ministry withdrew a special confidentiality of information in the Wirecard affair on Thursday. Specifically, it was a conversation between Jörg Kukies and the former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun. Both had met on November 5, 2019 and discussed “a variety of topics and the Wirecard group of companies”. Among other issues, according to the status report, it was about the “market manipulation suspicion and the start of KMPG special examination”.

KPMG’s auditors had started a special investigation on behalf of the Wirecard Supervisory Board in October 2019 to clarify the allegations of balance sheet manipulation. Braun celebrated his 50th birthday on November 5 and the conversation with Kukies is said not to have taken place during the celebration, but rather early in the morning.

Who initiated the initiative is still open.

The German Ministry of Finance had initially classified the content of the interview as “Confidential” and triggered a heated debate. Florian Toncar, chief of the FDP parliamentary group, had complained in writing about the insufficient clarification on Thursday. “The time for a comprehensive investigation in the normal way is running out,” criticized Toncar. “If the meager information policy of the ministry continues, we will need a committee of inquiry.”

The Left Party sees “increased need for clarification” about political contacts of the company in federal and state politics. It is also about the role of Bavaria, said MP Fabio De Masi.

It was not conclusive to classify Wirecard as a technology group and to delegate supervision to the Lower Bavarian government.

We have to find out what role the intelligence services have played at Wirecard.”

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Reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as the United States, Mainland China, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Germany. Love to Travel and report daily on destinations reopening with a focus on Domestic travel within Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Fan of the English Premier League , the German Bundesliga,, the Spanish La Liga.

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