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Hungarian Guard founder suspected of trafficking illegal migrants

July 27th, 2015

As a former far-right leader is suspected of trafficking illegal migrants, the leading left-wing daily accuses the Right of fomenting xenophobia. A conservative columnist on the other hand thinks that Jobbik may have benefitted financially from illegal migration.

On Tuesday, Róbert Kiss, the founding leader of the pro-Jobbik New Hungarian Guard, a uniformed, but unarmed paramilitary far-right organisation (see BudaPost August 28, 2012) was taken into custody. Mr Kiss was stopped in the southern border region of Hungary by counter terrorism police while negotiating with five undocumented Syrian migrants. The police say they found thousands of Euros in his pockets. Kiss acknowledged that he was taken into custody, but denied involvement in trafficking. He said that he wanted to infiltrate the traffickers’ chain in order to unmask a network which allegedly includes policemen and migration officers.

Népszabadság in a front page editorial accuses the Right of complacent demagoguery on migration issues. The leading left-wing daily finds it very peculiar that Kiss, a far-right radical with openly anti-immigrant sentiments (who used to be a close ally of Jobbik leader Gábor Vona) should make money by trafficking in illegal migrants. Népszabadság also accuses the government of claiming to follow Christian values but at the same time fomenting xenophobia through harsh anti-immigrant messages.

In Napi Gazdaság, Attila Csákó thinks that Kiss’s story of infiltrating the traffickers’ network in order to expose it is a fabrication. “Kiss is irritated by the colour of the immigrants’ skin, but not by the colour of their money,” the conservative columnist writes. Despite Jobbik’s attempt to distance the party from Kiss after he was taken into custody, Csákó suggests that Kiss is a Jobbik ally who help the party from behind the scenes. Echoing the opinion of Fidesz, Csákó wonders whether Kiss paid part of his income from trafficking into the Jobbik party coffers. Since the incident, it has become clear why Jobbik does not support the erection of the fence on Hungary’s southern border: the far-right party actually has an interest in maintaining illegal migration, Csákó adds.

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