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Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun was arrested in Germany



How the Wirecard scandal unfolded
Munich prosecutors confirmed Tuesday that Braun, the former CEO of Wirecard, was arrested on suspicion of inflating the balance sheet and sales of digital payment companies through fake transactions to make it more attractive to investors and customers. The prosecutor said that Braun might act in collaboration with other perpetrators.
Wirecard (WCAGY) acknowledged on Monday that € 1.9 billion ($ 2.1 billion) in cash included in the financial statements – or about a quarter of the assets – may not have been there from the start. The company drew preliminary results for 2019, first quarter 2020 and estimated earnings for 2020.

The scandal erupted last week when Wirecard said that its auditor, EY, could not find the funds in a trust account and refused to sign the company’s financial results.

Braun resigned as CEO on Friday, suggesting the company might be a victim of massive fraud. Jan Marsalek, board member and chief operating officer at Wirecard, fired on Monday.

Founded in 1999, Wirecard was once considered one of the most promising technology companies in Europe. It processes payments for consumers and businesses, and sells data analysis services. The company has nearly 6,000 employees in 26 countries around the world.

Braun, an Austrian who also serves as head of Wirecard technology, has led the company since 2002. The former KPMG consultant is the company’s largest shareholder, with ownership of just over 7%, according to data from Refinitiv.

Wirecard grew quickly with Braun at the helm. The company reported revenues of more than € 2 billion ($ 2.2 billion) in 2018, or more than four times that of 2013. Shares reached an all-time high above € 190 ($ 213) in September 2018, in the same month the Wirecard was replaced Commerzbank (CRZBF) in the list of top 30 German companies. At that point, the value is more than € 24 billion ($ 26.9 billion).

The company now faces an existential crisis. A panicked search for lost money stalled over a weekend in the Philippines, where the central bank denied cash had entered the country’s financial system. The company’s shares plummeted on Monday, extending a crash that wiped out 85% of its share price over three trading sessions. Wirecard ended the day with a market value of € 1.7 billion ($ 1.9 billion).

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Wirecard tried hard to protect creditors, a task that might be complicated by the arrest of his former CEO. The company said late Friday that it had hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey to come up with a new financing strategy.

The explosion followed 18 months of turmoil for the company interspersed with accusations of fraud, attacks by short sellers and questions over accounting practices.

The success story began to unravel in January 2019, when the Financial Times reported that Wirecard forged and canceled contracts in a series of suspicious transactions in Singapore. The company denied the report, which was produced with the help of the reporter, but its shares plummeted. In February 2019, authorities in Singapore said they would investigate.

Another blow landed late last year, when the FT published company reports and documents showing that profits and sales had increased at Wirecard posts in Dubai and Ireland. Wirecard again denied the accusation. But an investigation by KPMG published in April found that the company did not provide enough information to fully explain the problem raised by the FT.

Braun reported to prosecutors on Monday night after a warrant was issued for his arrest. According to prosecutors, a judge will decide on Tuesday whether he should remain detained. The former CEO explained his decision to quit last week in a letter to employees and shareholders.

“Capital market confidence in the company that I have managed for 18 years has been severely shaken … I respect the fact that responsibility for all business transactions rests with the CEO,” Braun said.

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– Mark Thompson contributed reporting.

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A moment of silence in Portuguese football over the tragedy in Indonesia



A moment of silence in Portuguese football over the tragedy in Indonesia

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) announced this Sunday a minute of silence at the competitions it organizes, namely the Portuguese Cup, in memory of the victims of the tragedy that occurred in Indonesia.

“The Directorate of the Portuguese Football Federation announces a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the tragedy that occurred at the football stadium in Indonesia. The official website of the organization.

In the same note, FPF President Fernando Gomes says that “with great surprise and a feeling of deep pain, but also indignation” he learned “of the tragic scale of the events that have taken place in the stadium. in Indonesia”.

“It is with great sadness that I deplore the dramatic consequences of this tragedy, which resulted in the death of more than 170 fans, including many children. A football stadium should be a stage for celebration and joy, not for violence and death,” he said. concluded.

A moment of silence will be observed at the competitions organized by the FPF, namely the Portuguese Cup, the second stage of which will take place this weekend.

Indonesian authorities said 174 people were killed in unrest at the end of a football match in East Java, but acknowledged that the number could rise as many of them were critically injured.

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The tragedy, one of the worst in the history of football, occurred on Saturday evening when about 3,000 fans took to the field after Arema’s home team lost 3-2 to rivals Persebay Surabaya.

Police fired tear gas to try to contain the angry supporters, but their actions caused panic and thousands of people rushed to the exit.

Many people were trampled to death in the chaos of the stampede. At least two police officers were killed in the unrest that spread outside the stadium.

The Indonesian league was suspended and the authorities ordered an investigation into the incidents.

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New serious injury of the player of the national team of Portugal



Extremo português oferecido ao Manchester United Lesão Pedro Neto

An injury forces Pedro Neto to be substituted in the Wolves game.

Bad news for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Pedro Neto. The Portuguese received a new injury, and, according to Bruno Lage, it could be serious.

Away to West Ham, where the Portuguese lost 2-0, Pedro Neto was replaced in the 24th minute by Adama Traore, and after the match, the Wolves coach said that the injury could be “ugly”.

Wolves are now in the Premier League relegation zone, and Pedro Neto may be left with no hope of qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar.

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The expedition will explore “an area still little known”: the Portuguese Sea.



The expedition will explore "an area still little known": the Portuguese Sea.

The Oceano Azul Foundation has joined the municipalities of Cascais, Mafra and Sintra and set off together this Saturday on the ship “Santa Maria Manuela” for a scientific expedition that will last until 12 October.

On board will be 50 researchers from institutions such as the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), the Hydrographic Institute or the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA). During this time, scientists will embark on what they consider to be an “essential” process of “investigating the region’s natural values” that will allow for a “global assessment of the marine biodiversity” that exists in that region of the ocean.

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