The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau has raided the Irish office of Wirecard, in a bid to assist German authorities in their ongoing investigation into the scandal-hit group.
In a statement to The Irish Times, the authority said: “Following receipt of a mutual legal assistance treaty from German authorities, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau began a search under warrant at a financial services provider with a business premises in Dublin city centre today, Thursday, 9 July, 2020.
“Detectives attached to the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau are assisting GNECB during the course of the searches, which are being conducted in an effort to obtain evidence concerning alleged fraud at the financial institution and its subsidiaries.”
A spokeswoman for An Garda Siochána declined to identify the financial services firm in question, however.
Officials at the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement also declined to comment on whether they were examining Wirecard UK and Ireland.
The Garda previously told The Irish Times that it was “aware of this evolving situation” when asked if it would be investigating the activities of the Dublin-based arm of the German payments processor.
News of the raid comes only one day after it was revealed that US authorities were investigating whether Wirecard “played a critical role” in an alleged $100m (£79m) fraud conspiracy.
An insider told the Wall Street Journal that the Manhattan US Attorney’s office and the New York field office of the FBI are now probing whether Wirecard was involved in a bank-fraud, connected to an online marijuana marketplace.
The Dublin raid also follows the arrest of a second former Wirecard executive by authorities.
Oliver Bellenhaus, who ran Wirecard’s CardSystems Middle East, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud, attempted fraud and aiding and abetting other crimes, prosecutors said.
According to the Financial Times, he will remain in police custody over fears that he may try to flee or tamper with evidence.
He is the second senior Wirecard employee to be arrested, following the arrest of former-CEO executive Markus Braun last month. Braun has since been released on €5m (£4.4m) bail.
As part of an ongoing investigation, police and public prosecutors raided the Munich headquarters of Wirecard last week.
According to Reuters, authorities have also raided four properties in Germany and Austria as part of their widened investigation into the scandal-hit group.