Police conduct several searches at liberal Hungarian MEP's premises
Hungary's National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) has conducted searches in several locations in a criminal case related to Katalin Cseh's company network, the daily Magyar Nemzet writes. Recently, the investigation into budgetary fraud has intensified, as NAV received information from the Prague District Prosecutor's Office. Hungary's tax authority has also initiated the issuance of further requests for legal assistance concerning Poland and Lithuania.
The investigating authority has conducted searches at several locations in Budapest and Pest County due to suspicion of budgetary fraud in connection with a network of companies linked to liberal Hungarian MEP Katalin Cseh, Magyar Nemzet writes.
Last December, Hungary’s tax authority already conducted a house search at one of the company’s premises, 2 Nadas Street in Vac (in the vicinity of the capital, Budapest), and now it has taken further investigative action in the ongoing criminal procedure against an unknown perpetrator, in connection with the business affairs of the leftist-liberal Momentum party’s lawmaker.
As is known, media outlets in Hungary began scrutinising the dealings of the company network in question last summer after Anonymus, a masked figure, had revealed information pertaining to the case. According to official, and other publicly available data,
the members of the company network have coordinated their operations and applied for EU funds in a systemic manner, winning HUF 4.8 billion (appr. €13M) under suspicious circumstances.
Months ago, Hungary’s National Tax and Customs Administration launched an investigation on suspicion of budgetary fraud. NAV investigators suspected that members of the company network had participated in ten tenders with entirely, or at least partly, the same holographic technology.
The investigators, among other things, have also found indications of carousel fraud. As the name of a Czech company has also emerged in the cases, NAV requested the prosecutor’s office to contact the Czech prosecutor’s office for legal assistance in obtaining bank details, tax returns and contracts.
The Prague District Prosecutor’s Office responded to NAV’s request for legal aid in June, and the documents have since been translated and analysed. According to Magyar Nemzet, the response coming from the Czech authorities could reinforce the existing suspicion. Previously, daily Magyar Nemzet also reported that NAV has initiated the sending of further requests for legal assistance to Lithuania and Poland. They need legal assistance from Lithuania because the hearing of a Lithuanian citizen as a witness would help with the investigation. As the Lithuanian national had been contracted to assemble the equipment sold to Holotech Hungary Kft (a member of the company network in question), he could provide information on his assignment and the assembly of the machines.
According to information obtained by Magyar Nemzet, Hungary’s tax authority has requested legal assistance from Poland in order to collect all turnover data from a Poland-based firm called Pawama sp zoo. NAV also needs assistance from Polish authorities to obtain documents, e-mails and accounting records produced during the activities of Pannonia Nyomda Kft and Unitech Kft, as both of these entities are linked to Ms Cseh’s network of companies.