The Central Investigation Prosecutor’s Office (KNYF) arrested five treasury trustees in the Ministry of Finance at the end of April for accepting bribery and suspected other crimes. KNYF conducted house searches at several locations, which involved nearly 150 prosecutors and police officers. Investigators seized more than two hundred million forints in cash from officials. The case has previously been revealed to involve the Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister’s Office.
Most of the seized money – HUF 190 million – was found at a single government councilor who worked in the Deputy State Secretariat for the Implementation of Economic Development Programs at the Ministry of Finance headed by Mihály Varga. 24.hu. In the safe kept in the official’s apartment, 3.5 million forints, almost ten thousand US dollars (3.3 million forints) and more than eight thousand euros (3 million forints) were found.
In addition, safe keys were found, which he said belonged to the safes in the name of his father-in-law, his mother and him. According to the prosecutor’s office documents, there was HUF 180 million in cash in the safe at Belvárosi Pénzügyi Zrt.
Regarding the money, the councilor stated that it was the property of his mother, who had previously worked as a dentist in a village in Bács-Kiskun County, but had retired for treatment, use and preservation.
He also presented a handwritten statement about this, but the prosecution said the origin of the cash was not proven.
The corruption case has 18 suspects and five people have been arrested. One man was placed under criminal supervision.
According to the prosecution, the council of the Ministry of Finance set up a well-organized system in which he kept in touch with the applicants and the leaders of the companies applying for support, who were helped to make their grant applications successful in return for an undue advantage.
The Central Prosecutor General’s Office has not been able to determine how much bribe ministry officials have worked for, but prosecutors believe the general administration fee was one percent of the grant amount. At the same time, there was a case where a “administration fee” of HUF 70 million was agreed with the beneficiaries for the administration of the applications submitted by two related companies.
(Cover image: The building of the Ministry of Finance in Budapest on June 1, 2021. Photo: Csaba Jászai / MTI)