His new alias has been discovered, two years after the demise of Wirecard and the disappearance of its Chief Operating Officer (COO), Jan Marsalek, according to an investigation by German media giant Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Joerg Schmitt, the publication's investigations editor, along with the London Dossier Centre have revealed the billion-euro fraud suspect has a new name. British Bazhenov.
According to SZ, Marsalek lives a "very relaxed life" in Moscow as a Russian citizen, with "expensive food and good wine," and has recently taken a vacation to Sochi. He is also said to be able to move around freely in Moscow.
Despite numerous hints that Marsalek had visited Russia, nothing concrete had previously been discovered. But the Dossier Centre received a mention of the name German Bazhenov at the start of the year, followed by a birthdate a few weeks later.
While German Bazhenov's name is listed on a passport photo taken on June 10, 2021 by the Russian Ministry of the Interior, it shows Marsalek with a long, full beard.
The teams' research reveals a match between an ID card issued to a Russian Duma deputy in 2000 until 2018 and the passport number, but not the name German Bazhenov.
Marsalek is believed to use this passport when "out and about in public," but he also has a second Russian identity that is "closely guarded by Russian security agencies," according to the investigation.
The investigators' inquiries to the interior ministries in Minsk and Moscow went unanswered, and when contacted, Marsalek's Munich attorney Frank Eckstein declined to comment on Marsalek's potential new identity.
Five sources with ties to the Russian and Belarusian secret services provided information on Marsalek's new identity and whereabouts, and a video SZ received purporting to show Marsalek in Moscow is thought to be genuine.
After his disappearance, a US security official claimed that Russian services had played a "crucial role" in his alleged fraud and subsequent escape. During his 60 visits to Moscow as Wirecard COO, the Russian secret service had repeatedly provided him with accommodations.
In exchange for assistance with dissappearing should he ever need it, Marsalek allegedly gave Russian officials "insights into the economy and politics in Germany and Austria."
According to recent intelligence reports, Marsalek resided in Meyendorff Gardens, one of Moscow's priciest neighborhoods and a heavily guarded community. A video that SZ and the Dossier Centre saw, however, shows a hazy image of the suspect leaving an apartment building in Moscow's north.
Author of Money Men and Financial Times investigative reporter Dan McCrum wrote on LinkedIn: "Jan Marsalek spotted in Moscow... Rather supports the theory that one of the top men at a Dax 30 financial institution was reporting to the Kremlin."
By fLEXI tEAM