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Essen | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Wolfgang Holzem




Essen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.


Essen is the central and second largest city of the Ruhr, the largest urban area in Germany.

Coronavirus since Reopening

Germany | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
Confirmed (24h)
Deaths (24h)
Deaths (%)
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Its population of 583,109 makes it the ninth largest city of Germany, as well as the fourth largest city of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. On the Ruhr and Emscher rivers, Essen geographically is part of the Rhineland and the larger Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region.

The Ruhrdeutsch regiolect spoken in the region has strong influences of both Low German (Westphalian) and Low Franconian (East Bergish).

Get in

By plane

Nearby airports include:

Cheap Flights to Dusseldorf

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  • Duesseldorf-International (ca. 30 km, 30 mins by train; largest international airport in the area)
  • Dortmund Airport (ca. 45 km; faster to reach by public transport and used by some no-frills airlines)
  • Cologne Bonn Airport  (ca. 77 km)

By car

Essen is located on Highway 40.

By bus

Essen is part of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr bus and train system. See also Mülheimer Verkehrsgesellschaf

By boat

The Rhine river transportation system can be reached via the Herne Kanal. Weiße Flotte Baldeney operate ships on the Ruhr river.

Get around

Essen has a big Stadtbahn (light rail), tram, bus and night bus system. You can find more information about fares and a journey planner at the VRR website. In addition, Hespertalbahn operates historic trains between Haus Scheppen and Kupferdreh.

What to see and do

  • Zeche ZollvereinArendahls Wiese ,   Grounds 6AM-4PM; Visitor Center/Museum 10AM-6PM

    Called the most beautiful coal mine in the world (in fact, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Zollverein nowadays hosts diverse cultural highlights including an outstanding design center and several museums. It is also famous for its Bauhaus architecture. Museum+special exhibits €10.

  • Red Dot Design MuseumGelsenkirchener Straße 181 (just beside Zeche Zollverein). Collection of 2000 exemplary pieces of product design
  • Museum FolkwangGoethestraße 41.  Known for the exhibits covering the history of photography as well as paintings from all eras.
  • Villa HügelHügel 15 ,  fax+49 201-6162911 Krupp family historical chateau, art history museum and concert venue. After visiting the chateau, have an nice stroll or a boat tour across the Baldeney lake
  • Aalto Opera-House Interesting piece of architecture by Alvar Aalto (Finland)
  • Essener Münster Cathedral 14th century cathedral and treasure museum.
  • St. Ludgerus Basilica
  • Kettwig Historical District featuring 17th and 18th century streets and buildings.
  • Synagogue and Jewish Museum
  • The old town of Werden One of the oldest German sites in entire Germany! Highly recommended.
  • GrugaparkOpen all year round from 9.00 am until nightfallBotanical garden (including playgrounds, waterfall, park railroad, look-out tower, various animals, restaurants. ..) 3€ (note that some of the parks attractions may have shorter opening hours and additional fees)..

What to do in Essen

  • International Christmas Market from late November to early December the streets and historic allies of the city center are filled with over 200 arts and crafts stalls.
  • Essen Light Weeks.
  • Enjoy Essen (“Essen genießen”, this is a word play since “Essen” translates to “food” as well). Gourment Highlights in autumn.
  • Lake Baldeney (Baldeneysee) (Essen-Hügel and Essen-Kupferdreh stations). Boat rentals, sailing, canoeing, gastronomy.


  • Colosseum-TheaterAltendorfer Straße 1.
  • Aalto-TheaterOpernplatz 10.
  • Philharmonie SaalbauClassic concerts of the Essener Philharmoniker and guest orchestras.
  • GrugahalleSport events and concerts of national and international stars.
  • Zeche CarlFormer coalmine, which is now used as a cultural center. Minor arts, rock music, cabaret and more.


Small, but vivid: the art scene in Essen. Galleries allocate on the whole city region, with a concentration around the Museum Folkwang:

  • Galerie Frank Schlag & Cie.Meisenburgstraße 173.  Emerging and contemporary art.
  • Galerie HeimeshoffBrigittastraße 7.  German art after 1945.
  • Galerie Klaus KieferRüttenscheider Straße 56.  Figurative painting.
  • Kunsthaus EssenRübezahlstraße 33.  Emerging art and artists.
  • Kunstverein RuhrKopstadtplatz 12.  Emerging and contemporary art.
  • Kunst-RaumRüttenscheider Straße 56.  Emerging and contemporary art.
  • Galerie NeherKaninenberghöhe 8.  Classical moderns and art after 1945.
  • Galerie ObristKahrstraße 59.  Emerging and contemporary art.
  • Galerie SchütteHauptstraße 4 (Kettwig).  Abstract, concrete, minimalistic.
  • Städt. Galerie im Schloss BorbeckSchlossstraße 101.


  • Behind the shopping centre Limbecker Platz there is a Cinemaxx-Kino, with 5.370 seats the biggest Multiplex-Cinema in Germany.
  • LichtburgWith 1.250 seats the biggest and oldest cinema hall in Germany.
  • Essener FilmkunsttheaterGroup of various smaller cinemas: filmstudioEulenspiegelAstra-TheaterGalerie Cinema, with ambitious programs.

Spa and Massage

  • Alte BadeanstaltSauna, swimming pool, massages, fitness, wellness.


The University of Duisburg-Essen is part of a consortium of three universities in the Ruhr-area (University of Duisburg-Essen, Bochum, and Dortmund) and Germany’s largest academic hub.


If you are working for a place that is easy going for digital nomads, have a look at

  • Unperfekthaus, which both has a permanent coworking place and offers day tickets within its house, and
  • KaBü anna RüAnnastr. 51 (located at one of the liveliest places in Rüttenscheid, Annastraße at Klarastraße). during roughly on working days during daytimeThis is a cafe combined with a coworking space, in the nice district of Rüttenscheid.


Many shops are located in the city center pedestrian zone. A big shopping-mall in the western part of the city centre opened in summer 2008. Also pay attention to the “Rüttenscheid”-district.

  • City center pedestrian zone.
  • Rüttenscheid districtProbably Essen’s trendiest district, with lots of smaller specialised shops, cafes, restaurants etc. mainly along the main shopping and strolling promenade, Rüttenscheider Straße.



  • Fährmann am SeeLanfermannfähre 118 ,  fax+49 201-8460819W-M 11:30AM-10PMRegional home cooking (accepts ECcard).
  • Wohnraum im UnperfekthausFriedrich-Ebert-Str. 20 ,  fax+49 201-8536605 10AM-10:30PMMediterranean/nouveau cuisine/vegetarian (no credit cards).
  • TabloHuyssenallee 5.  Turkish. Reservations recommended.


  • Mintrops Stadthotel Margarethenhöhe – Restaurant MSteile Str. 46 (U-17: Laubenweg) ,  fax+49 201-438610012AM-2:30PM and 6:00PM-10:30PMAsian.
  • GummersbachFürstenbergstr. 2 (Tram 105: Heißener Str).  W-M 5PM-10:30PMFrench; reservations recommended (ECcard accepted).
  • CapobiancoRottstr. 7.  Mon-Sat 12AM-3PM and 5:30PM-midnight, Sun 12AM-midnightClassic/Italian. Vegetarian options. Reservations recommended.
  • HülsmannshofLehnsgrund 14 a (U 17: Laubenweg).  11:30AM–2:30PM and 5:30-10PM.Home cooking.
  • Stop-Club vis à visSchmiedestr. 5,.  Mon-Sat 5-11:30PM.Reservation recommended. International. Vegetarian options.
  • LukasPrinz-Friedrich-Str. 1,.  Daily 6-11PMIndian (accepts ECcard).
  • Ange d’Or JuniorRuhrtalstr. 326 (S6: Kettwig).  Wed-Sun 6:30-10:30PMItalian. Vegetarian options.
  • La CenaHaumannplatz 32 (Tram 106: Landgericht).  Mon-Sat 12AM-3PM, 6-11PMItalian.
  • Landhaus SchnitzlerNöckersberg 65.  W-F 12AM-3PM, 6-10:30PM, Sat 6-10:30PM, Sun 12AM-9PM.Italian, German, International.
  • L’OperaTheaterpassage/Hirschlandplatz (U11/17/18: Hirschlandplatz).  Daily 12AM-11PMItalian.
  • Mintrops Stadthotel Margarethenhöhe – Restaurant MSteile Str. 46 (U 17: Laubenweg).  Daily 12AM-2:30PM, 6-10:30PMItalian.
  • Oase DueRüttenscheider Str. 189 (U11, Tram 101/107: Martinstr).  Mon-Sat 12AM-2:30PM, 5:30-11:30PMItalian.
  • Cavallino RossoVelberter Str. 126.  Daily 12AM-2:30PM, 5:30-11PM.Mediterranean.
  • GummersbachFürstenbergstr. 2 (Tram 105: Heißener Str.).  W-M 5-10:30PM Reservation recommended.Mediterranean, accepts ECcard..
  • HannappelDahlhauser Str. 173 (S1: Essen-Eiberg or RE 14 / S 3 / S 9 / Tram 103 / 109: Essen-Steele, then Bus 164: Breloher Steig).  W-M 5:30-10PMMediterranean. accepts ECcard,.
  • Jagdhaus SchellenbergHeisinger Str. 170a.  Mediterranean.
  • Casino ZollvereinGelsenkirchener Str. 181 (Tram 107: Zollverein).  Tue-Fri 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5:30-10:30PM, Sat-Sun 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5:30PM-midnight.Nouveau cuisine.
  • Mintrops Landhotel – MummSchwarzensteinweg 81 (SB 15: Burgaltendorf Burgruine).  12AM-2PM, 6-11PM.Nouveau/international cuisine. Vegetarian options.
  • Parkhaus HügelFreiherr-vom-Stein-Str. 209 (S6: Essen-Hügel).  11:30AM–10:30PMNouveau/International cuisine.
  • raum.einsRüttenscheider Str. 154.  Mon-Thu 12AM-2:30PM, 6-10:30PM, Fri 12AM-2:30PM, 6-11PM, Sat 6-11PM.Nouveau/International cuisine.
  • Résidence – PüreeAuf der Forst 1.  Tue-Fri 6:3010PMNouveau/International cuisine.
  • Schloss Hugenpoet – HugenpöttchenAugust-Thyssen-Str. 51.  12AM-11:30PMNouveau/International cuisine.
  • KockshusenPilgrimsteig 51.  W-M 11:30AM-10PMRegional. Accepts ECcard.
  • Kölner HofDuisburger Str. 20.  Wed-Sun 12AM-2PM, 6-10PM.Regional, dogs not welcome. accepts ECcard.
  • Landhaus-Knappmann – Frankenheim-BrauhausRingstr. 198.  Monday to Friday 4-12PM; Sat/Sun 11AM-midnight.Regional.
  • SchoteEmmastr. 25 (U11, Tram 101/107: Martinstr).  Tue-Sun 6-11PM.Regional.
  • Landhaus SchnitzlerNöckersberg 65.  Wen-Fri 12AM-3PM, 6-10:30PM; Sat 6-10:30PM; Sun 12AM-9PM. Seasonal.
  • Der LöweKopstadtplatz, 13Kopstadtplatz. Bavarian-style restaurant.


  • La GrappaRellinghauser Str. 4 (Tram 105/106: Aalto Theater).  Monday to Friday 11:30AM–2:30PM; 5:30- 11:30PM; Sa 5:30-11:30PMItalian/nouveau cuisine.
  • Schloss HugenpoetNesselrode, August-Thyssen-Str. 51.  Th-M 6:30-10PMInternational food. Dogs not welcome.
  • RésidenceAuf der Forst 1.  Tu-Sa 6:30-10PMNouveau cuisine.
  • Schloss Hugenpoet-NesselrodeAugust-Thyssen-Str. 51.  Th-M 6:30-10PMNouveau cuisine. Dogs not welcome.


  • Rüttenscheider HausbrauereiGirardetstr. 2 (U11, Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or Tram 105: Rellinghausen Rathaus or SB15: Annental or S6: Kettwig, then Bus 142: Girardet Haus).  Reservation recommended.
  • DaktariJuliusstraße 2.  7PM-4AM.Small Cocktail-Bar with big cocktails, located 5 miutes away from main station
  • IsenbergplatzIsenbergstraße 129AM-2AM.Five bars around a big playground. Meeting place for students, families, punks and managers. Urban culture center of Essen

Where to stay in Essen

Hotels Dortmund: Popularity

Hotel Stars Discount Price before and discount Select dates
NH Dortmund ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Dorint An den Westfalenhallen Dortmund ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
a&o Dortmund Hauptbahnhof ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
stays design Hotel Dortmund ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
The Grey Design Hotel ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Radisson Blu Hotel Dortmund ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
B&B Hotel Dortmund Messe ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Mercure Hotel Dortmund Messe & Kongress ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Ringhotel Drees ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Holiday Inn Express Dortmund ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals


  • Gasthaus NordsternStoppenbergerstr. 20.
  • Hotel am SchlossparkBorbecker Str. 183 (RE14/S9/Tram 103: Essen-Borbeck Bf) ,  fax+49 201-687762 .
  • IbisHollestr. 50 (SB15,16/Tram 103,109: Hollestr.) ,  fax+49 201-2428600.
  • Landhaus KnappmannRingstr. 198 ,  fax+49 201-6789 .
  • SchmachtenbergshofSchmachtenbergstr. 157 ,  fax+49 2054-121313 .
  • SengelmannshofSengelmannsweg 35 ,  fax+49 2054-83200.
  • Centro Hotel KornHoffnungstraße 19 , toll-free: 0800 – 444 00 333Check-in: 3pmsimple, but tidy, this is a friendly place to stay for everybody who does not need luxury
  • WG Hotel im UnperfekthausFriedrich-Ebert-Str. 18 (from U/tram Berliner Platz this is located “behind” the big shopping mall) ,   a flatshare style place mostly for groups, in a creative project house

Out of Essen

  • Das Park HotelEmscherinsel, Bottrop-Ebel (S9 stop Bottrop). Completely automated (i.e. only bookable online) concrete drain tubes with beds inside, you book and you’re given a code for the door. Honour based system; contribute as many € as you wish to the project. The project may have been discontinued as their booking webpage is gone. Honour system, contribute as many € as you wish to the project.
  • Zimmervermietung Ruth SchlägerAm Wildbach 7 ,  fax+49 2054-971649 .


  • EuropaHindenburgstr. 35 ,  fax+49 201-232656From 70 Euro/night.
  • JägerhofHauptstr. 23 (S6: Kettwig or SB 19: Werdener Markt or Tram 110: Mülheim Wilhelmstr. or Tram 102/104/112/901: Mülheim Stadtmitte or RE1/2/6/11, S1/3, U18: Mülheim Ruhr Hbf or U11: Messe West/Süd / Gruga or Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or Tram 105: Rellinghausen Rathaus or SB15: Annental, then Bus 142/151/190: Kettwiger Markt) ,  fax+49 2054-80984.
  • Mintrops Landhotel Burgaltendorf (Schwarzensteinweg 81, SB15: Burgaltendorf Burgruine.) ,  fax+49 201-5717147 Nice and calm place, but in the bushes
  • Mintrops Stadthotel MargarethenhöheSteile Str. 46 (U17: Laubenweg) ,  fax+49 201-4386100.
  • RésidenceAuf der Forst 1 ,  fax+49 2054-82501 (S6: Kettwig or SB 19: Werdener Markt or Tram 110: Mülheim Wilhelmstr. or Tram 102/104/112/901: Mülheim Stadtmitte or RE1/2/6/11, S1/3, U18: Mülheim Ruhr Hbf or U11: Messe West/Süd / Gruga or Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or Tram 105: Rellinghausen Rathaus or SB15: Annental, then Bus 142/151/190: Ringstr.) No dogs.
  • Ruhr-HotelKrawehlstr. 42 (Tram 106: Zweigertstr) ,  fax+49 201-780283.
  • Scandic HotelTheodor-Althoff-Str. 5 (U11: Messe West/Süd / Gruga or U 17: Margarethenhöhe or Tram 101/107: Bredeney or Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or S6: Essen-Werden or SB19: Werdener Markt or Tram 105: Rellinghausen Rathaus or SB15: Annental or SB66: Velbert Willy-Brandt-Platz, then Bus 142/169: Sommerburgstr) ,  fax+49 201-7691143.
  • Top Hotel Essener HofTeichstr. 2 (stop: Essen Hbf) ,  fax+49 201-2425751 No dogs.
  • Top Rema-Hotel EssenViehofer Platz 5 (Tram 101/103/105/109: Rheinischer Platz) ,  fax+49 201-236685.
  • Villa VogelsangAntonienallee 1 ,  fax+49 201-8536605 (S1: Essen-Eiberg or RE 14, S3/9, Tram 103/109: Essen-Steele, then Bus 164/184: Carl-Wolf-Str.).

City Center

  • UnperfekthotelFriedrich-Ebert-Str. 18 (from U/tram Berliner Platz this is located “behind” the big shopping mall) ,   a hotel run by a creative project, having a nice rooftop terrace
  • Mövenpick Hotel EssenAm Hauptbahnhof 2 (stop: Essen Hbf) ,  fax+49 201-1708173.

Messe/Gruga area (around trade fair center) and Rüttenscheid

  • Hotel im Girardet HausGirardetstr. 2-38 ,  fax+49 201-8788088 (U11, Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or Tram 105: Rellinghausen Rathaus or SB15: Annental or S6: Kettwig, then Bus 142: Girardet Haus).
  • An der Gruga (U11, stop: Messe Ost/Gruga), Eduard-Lucas-Str. 17 ,  fax+49 201-8411869 .
  • Best Western Hotel YpsilonMüller-Breslau-Str. 18-20 ,  fax+49 201-8969100 (U11, Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or Tram 105: Töpferstr. or Tram 106: Cäcilienstr. or SB15: Huttropstr. or Tram 103/109: Schwanenbuschstr. or RE1/2/6/11/14/16, RB40/42, S1/2/3/6/9, U11/17/18, SB16/19: Essen Hbf or U18: Breslauer Str. or Tram 110: Flughafen Essen/Mülheim, then Bus 145/146/160/161: Paulinenstr.)


  • Holiday Inn Essen City CentreFrohnhauser Str. 6. ,  fax+49 201-2407240.
  • Mercure PlazaBismarckstr. 48-50 (U11, Tram 101/107: Philharmonie/Saalbau) ,  fax+49 201-87858700.
  • Schloss Hugenpoet (August-Thyssen-Str. 51, RE1 / RE2 / RE6 / RE11 / S1 / S3 / U18: Mülheim Ruhr Hbf, then Bus 132: Am Biestenkamp, then Taxi which should be reserved in advance.) ,  fax+49 2054-120450.
  • SheratonHuyssenallee 55 (U11, Tram 101/107: Philharmonie/Saalbau) ,  fax+49 201-1007777.
  • Welcome Hotel Ruhr ResidenzSchützenbahn 58 (Tram 106/107: Viehofer Platz) ,  fax+49 201-1779199 .
  • Atlantic HotelNorbertstraße 2a (just beside Essen congress and fairs center).  Place for proms (and wannabes), but best breakfast in town

Telecommunications in Essen

Essen Tourism Office Im Handelshof. Am Hauptbahnhof 2, Tel: +49 201-19433,  . Mon-Fri 9AM-5:30PM, Sat 10AM-1PM. Closed on Sundays and bank holiday.

Stay safe in Essen

Despite it’s impressive economy, Essen has a surprisingly high crime rate by German standards. The poor northern suburbs of Essen (especially Altendorf, Altenessen and Karnap) suffer from occasional, potentially armed, robberies at night. Be aware of pickpockets on the Christmas Market and watch your bags in crowded bars and near the train station. Aggravated assaults have also been reported heavily in recent years.


Religious services

Holy mass in Catholic churches at the centre:

  • Hohe Domkirche, Münster, An St. Quintin 3 (5-10 min north from central station).   Sat 6:30PM; Sun 7:30AM*, 10AM, 4PM*, 7PM; (*in the Anbetungskirche: Mon-Fri: 7AM, 10AM, 5:30PM (except Sat)).
  • St. Engelbert, Fischerstraße 12 (10 min south from central station). Sat: 6:15PM; Sun: 9:45AM, 2PM (engl.); Mon 7:30PM; Tue 9AM; Wed 9:15AM; Fri 6PM.
  • St. Ignatius, An Sankt Ignatius 8 (10 min southwest from central station).   Sat 9AM, 5PM; Sun 11:15AM, 6PM; Tue/Thu/Fri 7PM.

Former founder of and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.


Wirecard : How Jan Marsalek Friend Henry O’Sullivan became “Corinna Müller”




Henry OSullivan

The Briton Henry O’Sullivan is regarded as the dazzling puller of many Wirecard deals and friend of Jan Marsalek and internal emails show how big his influence was in the company.

Henry O’Sullivan celebrated his 40th birthday in paradise. He invited lawyers, managers and high-ranking executives from Wirecard to the lonely dream island of Benguerra off the coast of the East African state of Mozambique. Board member Jan Marsalek and his girlfriend should also come.

As a souvenir, the host wanted: pens for the school children in town and champagne for the party weekend.

The luxury resort Azura Retreats, which O’Sullivan rented in November 2014, had cabins right on the beach, palm trees, and a beach. On arrival, the guests would have to wade through knee-deep water as the British businessman’s assistant warned a month before the celebration. That wasn’t a problem for Jan Marsalek. He preferred to travel by helicopter anyway, according to an email from his secretary.

The extravagant birthday plans reveal a lot about two of the central key figures in the Wirecard scandal. Jan Marsalek (40) and Henry O’Sullivan (46) are close confidants who worked together on big deals far away from the headquarters in Aschheim. Now the judiciary is asking whether millions have been diverted. Wirecard is insolvent and Marsalek is on the run.

O’Sullivan does not answer inquiries. At the beginning of 2020, he only wanted to talk to the examiners from KMPG and EY under certain conditions but then he was no longer available to them.

The beefy Brit was known for his dissolute lifestyle. In Singapore he often dined in a top restaurant on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, with a view over the harbor. To save time on business trips, he preferred to travel short distances by helicopter instead of taxi and in the meantime he lived on a yacht in Monaco.

Marsalek had O’Sullivan flown in in 2014 to celebrate with him at the Munich Oktoberfest. A year later they flew through South Africa in the Learjet 45XR. And when the Briton wanted to meet the Wirecard executive board in Jakarta in 2014, he asked an Indonesian employee by email about a hotel that would tolerate the “type of spring break business trips”.

Beyond its luxury life, only fragments of O’Sullivan’s businesses are known. The Briton did not hold an official position at Wirecard. Many consider him a “phantom” in the background, a member of the mysterious clique around Marsalek.

It was stored in the Wirecard address book with an external e-mail address for freelancers – his profile photo showed Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord: another bad joke by Jan Marsalek, as insiders suspect.

As much as O’Sullivan was on business trips, he was always careful to be discreet. This is also shown by an episode from spring 2020, when the Wirecard world was already falling apart and auditors examined the opaque third-party business for which Marsalek was responsible.

O’Sullivan was very knowledgeable about third party business and a strange company purchase in India in 2015. He was therefore a sought-after discussion partner for the annual auditors from EY and the special auditors from KPMG. O’Sullivan apparently managed to convince the supervisory board of a special protective measure.

A sought-after discussion partner for EY and KPMG

O’Sullivan demanded at the end of April or beginning of March 2016 that his name should not be recorded in the “final report” or in any other correspondence with Wirecard. “These papers have a habit of appearing in public,” he wrote to an assistant at Marsalek. He assumes that “everything that is written will ultimately be read by others” and he therefore insists on being given a pseudonym.

This is how Mr. O’Sullivan became Mrs. Müller. On March 4, a legal advisor to the Supervisory Board wrote to Wirecard management: “As discussed yesterday, a code name should be used for all further e-mails and other references. Proposal: ‘Ms. Corinna Müller’. ”On the same day, EY agreed not to use the name in communication with Wirecard international.

According to supervisory board circles, however, it was clear: There should be no special treatment in the confidential internal audit report, and O’Sullivan’s real name would have been mentioned here.

How those involved initially adhered to the language regulation became apparent on March 4, 2020. When O’Sullivan allegedly canceled an appointment in Monaco due to Corona entry regulations from Singapore, Marsalek’s assistant wrote to the auditors at KPMG: “Ms. Müller is herself aware of the time pressure and has agreed to contact us tomorrow with a short-term alternative. “

But it did not get to that. According to the “Wall Street Journal”, the special auditor KPMG was cross: O’Sullivan had also made the condition of their auditors anonymous. When they refused, he refused to speak.

He could tell so much in the process. In the ten years before the bankruptcy alone, Wirecard acquired companies for 1.2 billion euros, according to insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé. In his report, Jaffé writes that the deals were one reason for the “enormous consumption of liquidity in recent years”. The public prosecutor is investigating former executives on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust.

O’Sullivan was involved in numerous Wirecard deals. His name is linked to one of the largest and most dubious deals the payment service provider has done in recent years: the takeover of the Indian Hermes group in 2015. Wirecard bought the companies from the Mauritius-registered fund Emerging Markets Investment Fund 1A (EMIF 1A) for 326 million euros. The amazing thing: the fund had only acquired the same company and assets a few months earlier for around 35 million euros and it is still not clear who was behind that deal

Marsalek stated in an interview with Handelsblatt at the beginning of 2020 that he had not checked the background. But insiders report that O’Sullivan and Marsalek were the ones who planned the deal and who ultimately benefited from it. In any case, the original Hermes sellers now feel cheated. They filed a lawsuit that revealed that it was O’Sullivan who negotiated the sale to the EMIF 1A fund for € 35 million.

O’Sullivan also appears at another important point in the Wirecard network, the so-called third-party business. Wirecard achieved a large part of its sales with it, at least according to the balance sheet. Essentially, three companies provided the supposed income: Pay Easy from the Philippines, Al Alam from Dubai and Senjo from Singapore.

The central figure in Senjo was also O’Sullivan, even if he did not hold an official position. A PR consultant for the British company stated in 2019 that her client worked for Senjo. That’s only half the story. In practice, O’Sullivan is said to have been the one in charge of Senjo. In Singapore, the authorities are now investigating for falsification of accounts in the vicinity of the group of companies.

How hard Marsalek worked internally at Wirecard for his party friend O’Sullivan is shown by a short-term lending business from 2016, which several Wirecard board members dealt with. Ascheimer Wirecard Bank AG granted Cottisford Holdings Ltd, a generous credit line of ten million euros from O’Sullivan, for which Wirecard AG guaranteed as internal emails and documents prove this.

“Today the supervisory board formally approved the loan retrospectively, but was not ‘amused’ about it,” wrote the then board member Rainer Wexeler of Wirecard Bank AG on March 2, 2016 to Marsalek. He complained that the panel had been poorly informed. Wexeler asked: “Can you please give me the private address of O’Sullivan and some key business data about his business, his connection to Wirecard AG, etc.?”

Wirecard credit for companies in a tax haven

Marsalek did not reply in writing, but less than a month later he informed him why O’Sullivan’s company had not paid the money back on the agreed date. “The delay resulted from an unexpected complication in the distribution of dividends from one of its holdings.” O’Sullivan believes that the problem “will be resolved in the next few days,” wrote Marsalek.

Wexeler was evidently unsure of the loan. He asked: “It would still be important to know how the money that we made available to him was invested.” There is no answer to this, but that Marsalek suddenly advocated the loan “just days later” long-term “.

The borrower, Cottisford Holdings Ltd., also comes from an island that is likely to be O’Sullivan’s favorite vacation destination, as the British Virgin Islands are a paradise not only for tourists, but also for lovers of lax tax rules.

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Wirecard Scandal claims another Victim – Heike Pauls from Commerzbank




heike paul

It’s not even eight months since Germany’s number one payment service provider imploded: Wirecard had to admit in June 2020 that billions of euros never existed on the balance sheet. As a result, board members had to go to jail or disappeared without a trace. Since then, auditors have been distrusted, and the head of the BaFin supervisory authority has to look for a new job. The youngest victim is Heike Pauls of the German Commerzbank.

Up until a few weeks before the Wirecard scandal burst, several analysts in various banks believed in Wirecard. They unshakably believed that the annual financial statements for 2019, which had been postponed several times, would end well, some experts continued to insist on Wirecard price targets of 180 to 240 euros.

One of the bravest supporters of the scandal group was Heike Pauls from Commerzbank. The analyst was always loyal to Wirecard: She dismissed critical reports about the payment processor as false reports and even a few weeks before the collapse she issued a buy recommendation with a price target of 230 euros for the Wirecard share.

As the Spiegel reported, Pauls had in the meantime also provided the management of the payment processor with sensitive information that it had collected specifically on the capital market. In January Commerzbank had already restructured the research department and relieved the analyst of her duties, now the announcement was made:

“Commerzbank has terminated the employment relationship.”

The Wirecard scandal is far from being dealt with. Further personnel consequences in various economic areas could follow. Extensive claims for damages by investors against the insolvent payment service provider are also examined and the the Wirecard share remains taboo for any investors.


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Wirecard Committee – Doubts about Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s Credibility




Wirecard Committee Doubts about Guttenberg's credibility

Didn’t Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg tell the whole truth when he appeared as a witness on the Wirecard investigative committee? Internal documents that are available to the ARD studio fuel the suspicion. The SPD accuses him of having lied to the committee and in the opposition too, doubts about its credibility are growing.

In December Guttenberg was asked about his role in the Wirecard scandal in the Bundestag. It was also about an article that the former CSU minister published in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” at the end of March 2020. The topic: The role of short sales in the Corona crisis. At the time, Wirecard was targeted by shortsellers, i.e. stock exchange traders who bet on falling prices for a company and Guttenberg had argued against such short sales in the article.

Mail to ex-Wirecard boss Markus Braun

Guttenberg apparently did not want to draw a direct connection to his work for Wirecard, but there are doubts about this representation.

An email to the then Wirecard boss Markus Braun, however, indicates that Guttenberg could very well have had the now insolvent DAX group in mind when he wrote the text for the FAZ. 

In this email of March 20, 2020, the Managing Director of the communications company Edelman, Rüdiger Assion, proposed a “Short Selling Action Plan” to the Wirecard boss. Among other things, this contained the suggestion that Guttenberg could write a guest commentary on the subject of short sales in the newspapers FAZ or “Die Welt”. An argumentation paper with key messages is also attached to the mail. Just six days later, exactly such a guest comment appears in the FAZ. Guttenberg’s argumentation shows clear similarities with the line proposed in the argumentation paper.

SPD speaks of a lie

The SPD chairman in the Wirecard committee, Zimmermann, therefore accuses Guttenberg of not telling the truth on the witness stand. Zimmermann told the ARD city studio: “He (Guttenberg’s note by the editor) lied to the investigative committee and tried to set the wrong track when he denied arguing for a ban on short sales in the interests of Wirecard. A real surprise is this lack of honesty not with him. ” Now it must be clarified whether Guttenberg deliberately wanted to mislead the investigative committee.

CDU defends Guttenberg

Guttenberg is defended by the CDU. The MP Matthias Hauer said that the SPD should primarily devote itself to the question of why the BaFin, supervised by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, imposed the short sale ban on Wirecard. “This should certainly contribute more to the explanation of Wirecard than an article in the name of an ex-politician on the subject in the FAZ.”

But doubts about Guttenberg’s credibility are also growing among the opposition. The chairman of the Greens, Danyal Bayaz, said that Guttenberg’s remarks on his opinion contribution had already been implausible in the committee of inquiry. “Apparently it was part of the advisory service to specifically win over public opinion for a renewed ban on short selling.” That does not cast a good light on Guttenberg’s honesty.

The Linke chairman in the committee, Fabio de Masi, can imagine summoning the former Federal Minister again: “If Mr. Guttenberg was Baron Münchhausen and had said the untruth in front of the committee of inquiry, this would also be criminally relevant, (…) the question is then whether his other statements that he had met the Chancellor privately are also untrue. “


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