The European Anti-Fraud Office has revealed serious irregularities in public procurements won by Elios Innovatív Zrt., owned at the time by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s son-in-law István Tiborcz, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Over the course of its two-year investigation, the fraud office (OLAF) inspected 35 public procurements awarded Elios between 2011 and 2015. In addition to irregularities, OLAF uncovered conflicts of interest in numerous cases.
According to the investigators, Sistrade, a company owned by former Elios owner Endre Hamar, participated in the preparation of public procurements while he was still co-owner of Elios.
Co-owned by Orbán’s son-in-law Tiborcz up until 2015, Elios was tasked by numerous local governments with modernizing public lighting funded in large part with EU development grants. Between 2011 and 2015 Elios was awarded billions of forints worth of procurements by city councils.
The European Commission told The Wall Street Journal it will evaluate the OLAF report and coordinate with the Hungarian government before taking further steps. OLAF recommended the European Commission require repayment of EUR 40 million (USD 48.5 million) spent by Elios. According to The Wall Street Journal’s information, OLAF has sent the report to the Hungarian prosecutor’s office and with the recommendation that legal steps be taken.
(Good luck with that!-ed.)