A public information request has revealed that a company connected to Lőrinc Mészáros (pictured left), personal friend and alleged strawman of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (pictured right), secretly paid off a debt of some HUF 3.2 billion (USD 11 million) owed by relatives of the prime minister.
Cider Alma Kft., a parent company of several smaller businesses run by Orbán’s brother-in-law and nephew, reportedly received a HUF 3.2 billion loan from the state-owned Hungarian National Trade House (HNTH) that had long gone unpaid. 444.hu reported that as of September 2016, only HUF 280 million had been paid back to the trade house. Then, at the end of December, the remaining debt was suddenly paid off by what the HNTH would only say was “a third party.”
The HNTH rejected requests to reveal who had paid but news station Hir TV filed a public information request and learned that Hórusz Faktorház Zrt. had provided the money. That company is owned by Péter Balczó, who co-owns another company with a close business associate of Mészáros. Excepting Mészáros, no other connections between Hórusz Faktorház and Cider Alma are known at this time.