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Wirecard witness supports allegation of fake transactions

In the Wirecard trial, the first witness from Southeast Asia has supported the central accusation of fraudulent transactions. According to the testimony of Malaysian manager Yoshio Tomiie, former Wirecard sales director Jan Marsalek, who has been in hiding since 2020, was significantly involved in the establishment of the Singaporean Senjo group. Tomiie, a 64-year-old Japanese man, made this statement on Wednesday before the Munich I Regional Court. According to the indictment, Senjo was one of the companies through which non-existent credit card payments were processed.

Tomiie worked for the Senjo group for several years. According to the translated testimony of the managers, its subsidiary Senjo Payment did not have the technology or personnel to process payments: “There was no payment gateway or servers in the building,” said the 64-year-old on the 96th day of the trial. “There were no employees, they didn’t exist.”

Former CEO Markus Braun, former Wirecard manager Oliver Bellenhaus, and former chief accountant of the collapsed DAX corporation in 2020 have been on trial in Munich for over a year.

According to the indictment, they, along with Marsalek and other accomplices, allegedly pretended to generate billions in revenue with so-called third-party partners in the Middle East and Asia. Three of these companies played a significant role: Al Alam in Dubai, Payeasy in the Philippines, and the Senjo group in Singapore, where Tomiie worked.

The presiding judge Markus Födisch presented Tomiie with a list of alleged revenues of the Senjo group with Japanese corporate clients from the investigation files. “I should have known about it if it had existed,” Tomiie said.

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Braun denies all allegations. The Austrian, who has been in custody for three and a half years, accuses Marsalek and Bellenhaus of embezzling immense sums from real business transactions without his knowledge or involvement. “I don’t have the information to support or refute that,” Tomiie said.

According to Tomiie’s account, Marsalek was behind the establishment of the Senjo group. Marsalek even came up with the name of the company group. At first, Marsalek suggested “Koyasan,” which is a sacred Buddhist mountain in Japan. However, that was not possible.

Then Marsalek decided on “Senjo,” which is also a mountain in the Japanese Alps but has no religious significance for Buddhists. According to Tomiie, the word “Senjo” means “battlefield.” “I said that fits.”

However, Tomiie’s own role remained unclear. Judge Födisch repeatedly asked the witness what he and the other Senjo employees actually did: “They must have done something.”

Most of the witnesses heard in the first year of the trial were former Wirecard employees from Germany who could not provide any concrete information about the accusations.

Foreign witnesses who were closer to the scene of the crime, such as those in the Middle East or Southeast Asia like Tomiie, could potentially know more. However, most of the foreign witnesses who have been summoned have not responded to the summons, let alone appeared in the underground courtroom at Stadelheim Prison in Munich.