Hunt for Putin's ‘Bulgarian spy ring taskmaster’ Jan Marsalek who went from tech exec to hairy fugitive with 8 passports | The Sun

A FORMER tech boss remains on the run after he was accused of being part of a Bulgarian spy ring operating in the UK.

One of the world's most wanted men, Jan Marsalek was named as a "tasker" for the group, accused of assisting in monitoring Kremlin targets for “potential abduction.”

The five Bulgarian nationals who were operating at their HQ at a seaside hotel in Great Yarmouth appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

Orlin Roussev, 45, Bizer Dzhambazov, 41, Katrin Ivanova, 31, Ivan Stoyanov, 31, and Vanya Gaberova, 29, were acussed of conspiring to gather information for an enemy between August 2020 and February this year.

While he has not been charged, Marsalek was named as "a tasker on behalf of Russia" in a shocking twist.

But Marsalek, 43, is already among the world's most wanted for his alleged involvement in one of Germany's biggest fraud cases.

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Marsalek has been a fugitive since 2020 when Interpol issued a Red Notice for his arrest due to his alleged involvement in the Wirecard fraud scandal.

The Austrian tycoon, the former head of German tech firm Wirecard,has been on the run since the company's collapse in June 2020.

Marsalek, 43, who was Wirecard's chief operating officer for business in Asia, is believed to have fled to Russia amid the fraud allegations.

Marsalek and his team were sacked after the firm reported that £1.7 billion was missing.

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Initially hired for his knowledge of WAP systems, Marsalek started working for Wirecard in 2000.

The charismatic and eloquent Austrian became the company's chief operating officer after ten years.

But in June 2020, the firm reported that a whopping £1.7 billion (€2 billion) vanished from two accounts in the Philippines – a region under Marsalek's supervision.

The company eventually collapsed following what it later describedas an "elaborate and sophisticated fraud."

But instead, he vanished without a trace, becoming one of the world's most notorious fugitives.

In the note of Interpol's Red list, Marsalek is pictured in one photo as a clean-cut executive while in the other one, he is shown with a thick beard that makes him look distinctively different.

Marsalek reportedly told colleagues he would be flying to the Philippines to prove his innocence, according to Bellingcat.

But that day he met Martin Weiss, a former member of Austrian intelligence, for pizza in Munich.

It is speculated that Weiss helped the ex-tycoon to fly to Belarus and then cross to Russia -the last time he travelled under his real name.

German Die Welt reported at the time that Marsalek was at a Russian FSB training centre in the Balashikha suburb.

And according to the Dossier Center, Marsalek, who had at least eight passports, received Russian citizenship and lived under FSB protection at the Meyendorff Castle.

The 43-year-old had always been a Russophile, with reports of him having links to key figures in the Russian government and the GRU, Russia's military intelligence.

His office in Munich was said to be decorated with Russian dolls and hates while his mansion was located right across the Russian consulate.



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Marsalek was a frequent visitor to Russia having travelled to Moscow, Kazan, St. Petersburg, and Nizhny Novgorod in the past decade.

To all German inquiries regarding Marsalek's whereabouts, Moscow has denied there is an Austrian citizen living in the country under that name.

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