Bafin headquarters: criminal investigations against previously unknown persons
Photo: Boris Roessler / dpa
The public prosecutor's office in Frankfurt is trying to investigate the role of the financial supervisory authority Bafin in connection with the Wirecard scandal.
It is a criminal investigation against previously unknown people, said a spokeswoman for the prosecution.
The public prosecutor's office for white-collar crime is examining criminal charges as well as accessible information in the media, "in order to be able to further investigate the legitimacy of the allegations against unknown persons in charge and employees, also in terms of criminal law," it said.
The background to this are reports from Wirecard shareholders who accuse Bafin of inadequate supervision of Wirecard and the Wirecard Bank from the beginning of 2019 to mid-2020.
According to the news agency AFP, the content of the advertisements is also that Bafin employees did private business with Wirecard shares from 2018 to 2020 - namely "using inside information," as the public prosecutor's spokeswoman said.
In the autumn it became known that government employees are said to have carried out private transactions with Wirecard shares in dozens of cases - especially in the WA2 department responsible for market surveillance, which is actually supposed to control insider trading.
Scandal demanded personal consequences
The authority has not yet announced which individuals the public prosecutor's office is now suspicious of.
The Frankfurt investigators initially initiated a preliminary examination at the end of February and requested information from the Bafin.
The financial regulator did not comment on the investigation when asked.
The former DAX company Wirecard had granted air bookings of 1.9 billion euros in June 2020 and subsequently filed for bankruptcy.
Because this remained undiscovered for years, the Bafin, among others, has come under fire.
Authority chief Felix Hufeld resigned, his successor will be the previous head of the Swiss financial supervision, Mark Branson.
In addition to Hufeld, Vice President Elisabeth Roegele was also resigned after the suspicion arose that a Bafin employee could have done business with Wirecard papers thanks to his insider knowledge.
The supervisory authority reported an employee to the Stuttgart public prosecutor's office on suspicion of insider trading.
apr / dpa / AFP