OLAF says Hungary should repay $51 million in EU funds paid to prime minister son-in-law’s company

February 12, 2018

OLAF report on Tiborcz-connected projects: "Budgetary fraud," "Falsification of document/forgery," and "qualification of organized crime"
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (right) and his son-in-law István Tiborcz drinking pálinka at the Orbán residence. | Photo: Facebook/Orbán Viktor

More details have emerged about EU-funded municipal contracts awarded to a company formerly belonging to István Tiborcz, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s son-in-law.

Last Friday, 24.hu quoted the OLAF (the European Commission Anti-Fraud Agency) report on the former Tiborcz company, which the government has yet to release.

“In Hungarian law this falls under qualification of Criminal Code, Act C of 2012: Budgetary fraud (article 396), Falsification of document/forgery (Article 345). The possible qualification of organized crime (Article 321) should also be considered,” the report alleges.

According to 24.hu, the findings of the OLAF investigation into Tiborcz’s company, Elios, are so damning that the anti-fraud agency recommends Hungary repay all EU development funds remitted to it – HUF 13.1 billion (more than USD 51 million), or roughly 87 percent of Elios’ revenues between 2012 and 2015.

A web of consultants with alleged conflicts of interest

In a separate report published Monday, again citing the OLAF report, 24.hu went on to explain the complex web of inter-tangled ownership between consultants hired by municipalities to prepare calls for tenders and the project winners.

In several cases, the online daily reports, these consultancies were hired by municipalities to prepare studies and would later play a key role in the preparation of tenders that were generally worded in such a way so as to rule out the possibility of a company other than Elios winning the contract.

24.hu writes that OLAF investigated 35 suspicious contracts, 17 of which the anti-fraud agency believes may have involved criminal conspiracy to help Elios win the contracts.

According to 24.hu, the OLAF report identifies the following consultancies and subcontractors:

  • Sistrade Kft.
  • Eupro Projektmenedzsment Kft.
  • INS Energia Kft.
  • Közbeszerzési és Beruházási Tanácsadó Kft.
  • Tender-Network Kft.
  • SMHV Energetika Kft.
  • Tungsram-Schréder Zrt.