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Wholesale corruption charges levelled and dismissed

March 28th, 2018

Magyar Nemzet accuses unnamed officials of having channelled vast amounts of bribes to offshore accounts. One of the ‘money couriers’ is allegedly a ‘protected witness’ in the USA. Magyar Idők quotes a series of official statements characterising the report as groundless.

In an unsigned report on Monday, Magyar Nemzet reported that 3 to 4 billion Euros in payoffs from EU funded investment projects have been secretly transferred to the Middle East and the Far East through Arab banking channels and/or taken to Vienna in instalments of 250 thousand Euros, mainly from MKB, a state owned bank. One of the couriers is apparently under FBI protection in the USA. He is the target of an international arrest warrant issued by Hungary for  money laundering, but Magyar Nemzet says the Hungarian authorities have not bothered to interrogate him, although they were offered that opportunity by the FBI.

Magyar Idők reports on Tuesday that all Hungarian authorities concerned have flatly denied that story. In a hint at Mr Lajos Simicska, the former Fidesz treasurer turned a foe who owns Magyar Nemzet, Government spokesman Zoltán Kovács described the Magyar  Nemzet report as a campaign bluff, adding that ‘whisky is a bad adviser’. In parallel statements, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office and the police denied having been offered a chance to interrogate the alleged courier, who is under indictment in Hungary for international fraud and money laundering. The National Bank described the report as fantasy, especially given the astronomical amount mentioned in it. MKB Bank declared that it never violates anti-money laundering rules, let alone systematically, as the Magyar Nemzet report suggested.

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