The strange story of Gábor Simon and Tamás Welsz

It was in early February that Gábor Simon, one of the vice chairmen of MSZP, was discovered to have a large account in an Austrian bank. Magyar Nemzet reported that the socialist politician had made two deposits, of €575,000 and $163,000, in April 2009. The problem was that Simon, who was a member of parliament, failed to include these deposits in his yearly report on his personal finances. In no time Simon was removed from the party and shortly thereafter he resigned his parliamentary position.

MSZP desperately wanted to put an end to this embarrassing revelation; its leaders kept emphasizing that Simon’s financial affairs had nothing to do with the party. Their political opponents, however, refused to let go of the story. Magyar Nemzet published numerous articles in which they tried to connect Simon’s millions to MSZP. Surely, the argument went, Simon was hiding the party’s money in his own foreign bank accounts.

Eventually Magyar Nemzet stopped pursuing that alleged chain of guilt, although for a while they tried to tie the money to an MSZP politician in Budapest’s District XIII. But then came the news on March 6 that Simon’s money most likely had something to do with Tamás Welsz, a businessman with a checkered career whose activities ranged over three continents: Europe, Africa, and South America. Welsz in the past had had some run-ins with the authorities and was (until yesterday) wanted by Interpol. Yet the Hungarian police and prosecutors didn’t arrest him. In fact, last November, after being interrogated, he and his girlfriend Andrea Horthy were released.

Index reported on March 6 that Simon had another bank account in Hungary which he had opened under a false name. Magyar Nemzet, which  has excellent connections with Hungarian prosecutors, seemed to know that the relationship between Simon and Welsz came to light as the result of a search of Velsz’s house in Érd. There in a safe they found a forged Guinea-Bissau passport in the name of Gabriel Derdák. Simon’s mother’s maiden name is Erzsébet Derdák. The authorities allege that Welsz, who had good relations with the totally corrupt government of Guinea-Bissau, got about 500 blank passports which he sold to people who for one reason or another needed an alias or just another passport. Simon/Derdák with his African passport opened an account in a MagNet Bank on Andrássy Street. The deposit was again large: €250,000.

Gábor Simon and Tamás Welsz Source: Index

Gábor Simon and Tamás Welsz
Source: Index

Shortly after the revelations about the safe and the false passports Magyar Nemzet went into high gear. Welsz was described as a man with “excellent” connections to MSZP politicians. They claimed that several  MSZP politicians wanted to buy Guinea-Bissau passports, not just Simon. They singled out János Veres, former minister of finance who seems to be a favorite target of Magyar Nemzet and HírTV, both owned by the same concern. Veres announced that he doesn’t know Welsz and that he has no Guinea-Bissau passport; he sued both Magyar Nemzet and HírTV. Magyar Nemzet retreated somewhat, saying that Veres only “contemplated” acquiring a false passport but in the end changed his mind.

Why did the investigators decide to search Welsz’s house? My hunch is that Welsz offered to give up Simon if the Hungarian authorities would release him. I suspect that the investigators knew about Simon’s bank accounts as early as last November when Welsz and his girlfriend were arrested. And not just the bank accounts in Austria but possibly about the €250,000 under the name of Gabriel Derdák as well. The authorities may have postponed acting on this information so it would have the maximum electoral punch. At any event, four days after the police searched Tamás Welsz’s house, on March 10, Simon was taken into custody.

Once the authorities went public with the information about Simon’s wrongdoings, they dragged the story out for a month, thereby providing political fodder for the pro-government press.  Day after day the public read about the sordid financial activities of this high-ranking MSZP official, activities (so the accusations went) that implicated the party as a whole. Four years ago similar stories helped propel Fidesz to its overwhelming victory. Why shouldn’t the strategy work again?

All seemed to be going according to plan, but then came yesterday’s shocking news. According to the Budapest police, Welsz was sitting in the back seat of a police car heading to the Budapest Central Investigative Prosecutor’s Office in Budapest when he suddenly became ill. He was to taken the nearest hospital, but the doctors couldn’t revive him. Welsz was 41 years old and looked like the picture of health. So far the police have not provided any official information about his death–I assume they are waiting for the results of the autopsy–and as a result all sorts of rumors are circulating.

Leaked police information is contradictory. Some reporters claim that Welsz was already feeling ill before he traveled from his home in Érd to Budapest. Others say that he told the police he had taken poison and would die soon. (But then why didn’t the police immediately call an ambulance?) Some people talk about his excellent health and his upbeat mood; others report his anxiety. One report insists that he was hand-cuffed; others deny it. HVG told its readers that the people Welsz was fingering are not at all those everybody suspects, i.e., MSZP politicians. His revelations, they wrote, will surprise everybody. From this one would surmise that he had information on some Fidesz people. Whatever happened, Welsz is dead under very strange circumstances which means–as Veres pointed out yesterday on ATV–that anyone can use the blank passports to frame opposition politicians. Dead men don’t talk.

Many people think that Welsz may have been a Hungarian national security agent. József Gulyás, formerly an SZDSZ member of parliament and now a supporter of Együtt 2014, is demanding that the parliamentary committee on national security convene to question representatives from the Office of the Defense of the Constitution and other organizations dealing with national security.

This whole story is too bizarre for words. And extremely suspicious. But the more convoluted the story is and the longer it takes to decipher, the more it would seem to serve Fidesz’s political purposes. This will be a front-page story for quite a while, unless Fidesz has something else up its sleeve. They did promise three surprises: the Simon case was first, then came Zuschlag. Who will be the third?

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tappanch
Guest

Rumor:

THere were 16 Bissau passports, 6 for MSzP people, including Simon’s, 7 for Fidesz-KDNP and 3 for people with no party affiliation.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Orb%C3%A1n-lapj%C3%A1r%C3%B3l-kitiltottak-t%C3%A1rsas%C3%A1ga-III/202688346605920?hc_location=timeline

tappanch
Guest
Member

THis is what published on HVG
The cost of Bissau-Guinea passport was EUR 30,000, and Tamas [Welsz] kept 10,000. For the remaining 20,000 the Foreign Minister of Bissau-Guinea himself gave out the document that also meant citizenship”
I am not sure why is Fidesz advertises that it is a crime to buy a citizenship when officially yu can buy your way to a Hungarian citizenship for EUR 250,000 investment. THe Guinea cat is not an investment, so you would never get your money back, the Hungarian you could get your money back as it is guaranteed by the Hungarian Government.
Now, I understand that likely people who get access to the Guinea passports they need it for money laundering. THe ska time I believe it is true the other way around. WHy would someone want a Hungarian passport? To abuse their own country’s or the EU’s system.

Back to Welsz. He did know way too much, and I guarantee, although even HVG says that the name on the passports found in Welsz’ house would surprise many (as it was to only MSzP), we will never learn the truth.

Oplogo
Guest

There is one rule for people wanting to do anything in Africa:

Avoid the Guineas!

Polgar
Guest

It is mind-boggling to believe that any sane person would trust Welsz with any private matter. Even if I disregard his activities in Panama and the Sólyom Airlines, his shady activities in Africa (which were necessary to obtain the passports) must have aroused suspicion. It is just astonishing, how childish these politicians were. Although come to think of it, he must have sold the businesses to MSZPnik clients by telling them that he had many Fdesznik clients too, and vica versa.

I agree with people on the previous thread, Fidesz left the point of no return. They have to keep their power at any cost because if these stories really get out, and this is just one sordid story, but nothing compared to the Simicska, Nyerges (or Orbán) criminal enterprises, people would lynch some of the fideszniks. Although killing was not really a practice in Hungary until so far, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

I would be curious to know which policepeople went to collect Welsz. I would not be surprized at all if it turned out that they were actually working at TEK or one of the other agencies.

MSZP celebrates passing of Welsz
Guest
MSZP celebrates passing of Welsz
“Welsz in the past had had some run-ins with the authorities and was (until yesterday) wanted by Interpol. Yet the Hungarian police and prosecutors didn’t arrest him. In fact, last November, after being interrogated, he and his girlfriend Andrea Horthy were released. My hunch is that Welsz offered to give up Simon if the Hungarian authorities would release him. I suspect that the investigators knew about Simon’s bank accounts as early as last November when Welsz and his girlfriend were arrested. And not just the bank accounts in Austria but possibly about the €250,000 under the name of Gabriel Derdák as well.” Here it is, in plain English. Welsz was the crown witness against Simon the MSZP vice-leader, already in last November. Welsz gave Simon up in the first place. He was helping MSZP leaders set up accounts under fake names, fake passports from Bissau-Guinea, so he knew : what are the names used, which banks are used, everything needed to give them all up. IF he was helping not only Simon, but other MSZP leaders then his information would seal the fate of MSZP :it would destroy it. So knowing what we know, what motivations we have for someone… Read more »
FIDESZ is relived that Welsz cannot tell about them
Guest
FIDESZ is relived that Welsz cannot tell about them

Here it is, in plain English. Welsz made 10000 Euros on each passport he sold. He was not a politician, and he was in for the money. If he would of been a crown witness against Simon (MSZP) the whole private army of Orban (anti-terrorist commando) would of been there in his house to arrest (protect) him. The same commando who was dispatched to get the fake guns away from a movie was not dispatched for “the crown witness”? LOL Welsz knew a lot, and knew a lot about the Fidesz too. This is why he was so cocky and allowed to be cocky. for year. He died while in Fidesz’ police custody.

Utrillo
Guest

Re # 6-7, I am assuming this is our old friend Mr. Paul. Anyhow.

It is not who is happy now, but who did it??

Who had the means, the motive and the opportunity to carry out an assassination and who can make a thorough investigation go away??

Food for thought.

petofi
Guest

Orban and Kover set up para-military units for one reason: to keep the cops and military hoeing the government line.

tera
Guest
This is a very interesting case. “Welsz maga jelentkezett a rendőröknél, hogy bizonyítékokat szeretne átadni a Simon üggyel kapcsolatban. A budapesti lakására kiérkező rendőrökkel együttműködő volt. A lakásról Érdre vitték, majd az autóban azt vették észre a rendőrök, hogy Welsz rosszul lesz, szemei felakadnak. Tíz perccel később a legközelebbi rendelőintézethez értek vele, de fél órával később már halott volt az üzletember. A Welsz Tamáson elvégzett igazságügyi orvos szakértők jelenlétében elvégzett boncolás során nem találtak külsérelmi nyomokat. A rendőrök nem alkalmaztak semmilyen kényszerítő eszközt, így bilincset sem vele szemben.” http://index.hu/belfold/2014/03/21/welsz/ 1. Welsz called up the police himself saying he wants to turn over evidence regarding the Simon case. He recieved the police at his home where he was very helpful. The autopsy already showed: he had no outside wounds anywhere on his body and no signs of struggle. Conclusion: he was poisoned in his home unknowingly or died of natural causes. If you inject someone with poison against his will there is at least 1 wound whereby the poison reaches the bloodstream. But if you for example switch out his medication in his home and he takes it himself there will be no wounds that show up. So Simon wanted to… Read more »
Laszlo Kovacs
Guest
tera : This is a very interesting case. “Welsz maga jelentkezett a rendőröknél, hogy bizonyítékokat szeretne átadni a Simon üggyel kapcsolatban. A budapesti lakására kiérkező rendőrökkel együttműködő volt. A lakásról Érdre vitték, majd az autóban azt vették észre a rendőrök, hogy Welsz rosszul lesz, szemei felakadnak. Tíz perccel később a legközelebbi rendelőintézethez értek vele, de fél órával később már halott volt az üzletember. A Welsz Tamáson elvégzett igazságügyi orvos szakértők jelenlétében elvégzett boncolás során nem találtak külsérelmi nyomokat. A rendőrök nem alkalmaztak semmilyen kényszerítő eszközt, így bilincset sem vele szemben.” http://index.hu/belfold/2014/03/21/welsz/ 1. Welsz called up the police himself saying he wants to turn over evidence regarding the Simon case. He recieved the police at his home where he was very helpful. The autopsy already showed: he had no outside wounds anywhere on his body and no signs of struggle. Conclusion: he was poisoned in his home unknowingly or died of natural causes. If you inject someone with poison against his will there is at least 1 wound whereby the poison reaches the bloodstream. But if you for example switch out his medication in his home and he takes it himself there will be no wounds that show up. So Simon… Read more »
László Kovács
Guest
tera: as it has been pointed out there are several completely contradicting accounts — all leaked from the police (given the nature of the thing there can be no other source). Index.hu which you linked and translated is just one account, hvg.hu, hir24, magyar nemzet, nepszabadsag all have their own, separately sourced versions. We cannot establish which one is the truth and so your choice of index.hu is arbitrary (but nicely fits your party affiliation). For example hvg.hu says Welsz wanted publich info what would have been damaging to Fidesz. But again, it is not who may be interested in the death of Welsz, but who could actually carry it out? Who controls the secret services, the police, the prosecution, most of the media? Remember that Welsz was involved in the Panama fraud in which Welsz and his girlfriend brazenly defrauded Hungarian investors by forging powers of attorney and other notarized documents. The issue was not that the court decided that Welsz could not be extradited to Panama where the primary investigation was conducted, but the fact that he was not prosecuted in Hungary at all. Such fraud is a serious felony in Hungary even if it was committed in… Read more »
Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

[OT] At last, the Fidesz campaign program is out: http://www.fideszprogram2014.eu

Pa
Guest
This is quite nonsensical. Does anyone honestly think that if a policeman was asked by whoever to kill Welsz he would do it? And he would use his own police car to do it, then rush him over to a hospital where he will be examined by hoards of medics, doctors and then full autopsy and then an investigation? What would be the motivation of this policeman? He really liked following orders? Meanwhile it was Welsz that called the police and not the other way around. Just how far does this conspiracy go, even the call center is part of it. What a shitty country where someone dies, the political fanatics are immediately convinced that the other side killed him. Welsz was age 41 and 100 kg / 180 cm according to tappanch at 2. That would put his BMI around 31. In other words he was a middle aged fat guy, with stress levels of someone who is wanted by interpol. If you compare him with James Gandolfini who died from heart attack :Gandolfini wasn’t wanted by interpol he wasn’t under any extraordinary pressure which causes stress. In fact he was on vacation. Gandolfini was also american millionare, he… Read more »
belga67
Guest
Pa : This is quite nonsensical. Does anyone honestly think that if a policeman was asked by whoever to kill Welsz he would do it? And he would use his own police car to do it, then rush him over to a hospital where he will be examined by hoards of medics, doctors and then full autopsy and then an investigation? What would be the motivation of this policeman? He really liked following orders? Meanwhile it was Welsz that called the police and not the other way around. Just how far does this conspiracy go, even the call center is part of it. What a shitty country where someone dies, the political fanatics are immediately convinced that the other side killed him. Welsz was age 41 and 100 kg / 180 cm according to tappanch at 2. That would put his BMI around 31. In other words he was a middle aged fat guy, with stress levels of someone who is wanted by interpol. If you compare him with James Gandolfini who died from heart attack :Gandolfini wasn’t wanted by interpol he wasn’t under any extraordinary pressure which causes stress. In fact he was on vacation. Gandolfini was also american… Read more »
tappanch
Guest
tappanch
Guest
Paul
Guest
Completely OT, I’m afraid – but there has been much discussion on here over the months about tuition fees, so I thought people might be interested in the latest on this from the UK. A review has just been carried out into the number of graduates who don’t repay the full amount of the loan*, and the conclusion is that the amount of money not recovered is likely to be so high as to practically wipe out the money made from the tuition fees (which were introduced to help fund university education). Thus questioning the point of the whole scheme – which, of course costs many millions to run and is an administrative nightmare. I don’t know what other countries’ experience is of this, but I would imagine if a relatively wealthy country like the UK is effectively not making any money out of tuition fees, Hungary must be having problems as well. *You don’t start to repay until you earn more than £21,000 (a reasonable starting salary for graduates, but nearly twice the minimum wage), and even then repayments are fairly low unless you are on a very high salary. Loans are cancelled at 65, or on death or… Read more »
petofi
Guest
The Weisz death is a nice problem. Let’s begin with the fact that if the powers-that-be wanted him dead, it could’ve been done in a myriad of ways to avoid such loud suspicion. So in the first instance, we have a death that implicates the power structure and embarrasses it. MSZP allies might’ve done it because it seems so unlikely that they could’ve achieved the murder nefariously, although I’m sure they have their allies too in the constabulary and the secret services. Moreover, most of the damage to MSZP has already been done: while damage to possible Fidesz participants has not. Those most damaged by the murder/death are the police. Let’s suppose that the para-militaries (of Orban and Kover) have a lot to gain by their relative gain in prestige. Moreover, one government spokesman (Gergely) has already indicated that there is no need for a judicial investigation as it is a ‘political doing’ (according to him and his superiors). Of course, in the final analysis, Fidesz has created a pandora’s box of guilt to which it can continue to refer with MSZP allegations from today until the elections, and thereby continue to divert public attention from its abysmal record for… Read more »
ipartalan
Guest

Poor orban. Matyas Illes makes fun of his excellency.

http://www.galamuscsoport.hu/tartalom/cikk/368131_a_gogosseg_gogosseg_mamora

szárhegyi
Guest

Anybody who thinks that MSZP could have any influence over the police, the prosecution or the secret services is deranged. The left has zero influence, the people who work at these organisations are almost all either Fidesz or increasingly Jobbik supporters, they hate liberals and leftists. Besides Fidesz long ago got rid of unreliable people.

MSZP is literally terrified that in the unlikely scenario of its election victory Fidesz and Jobbik would go berserk and set the city afire, and meanwhile the police would not be loyal to the new government because everybody who is anybody in the police etc. forces is a proven Fidesz loyalist.

Member

#6 MSZP did it. You are loosing it! How would the MSZP could get through to him, when Fidesz was already happy to get their “cowry witness”.
#7 I agree very much. All the confusion around his death and not a firm statement from the police shows some very strange cover-up by the Fidesz.
let’s not forget that every time any Fidesz hick-up happens, their PR is issuing statements. No statements here.

add
Guest
“Anybody who thinks that MSZP could have any influence over the police, the prosecution or the secret services is deranged. The left has zero influence, the people who work at these organisations are almost all either Fidesz or increasingly Jobbik supporters, they hate liberals and leftists. Besides Fidesz long ago got rid of unreliable people. ” This is so stupid it deserves a reply. You made two statements: 1. “the people who work at these organisations are … increasingly Jobbik supporters” 2. “Fidesz got rid of unreliable (non-Fidesz) people.” It seems, you don’t understand your own sentences. Besides it is even more ignorant to say that the left can have no influence. Out of the last 60 years how many years was the left in power? about 50? The police force, the secret services these were 100% owned by the left for 50 years, use your head. The teachers, the teachers’ teachers who do you think selected them under comrade Rakosi, under comrade Kadar. There is institutional culture that is handed down from generation to generation. 50 years influence goes to zero in a few years? How can anyone think that? surely some remains. And the third the most stupid,… Read more »
Istvan
Guest
I have read a number of the reports on the death of Welsz and I could find no clear description of his political affiliation, if any. Has there been discussion of this that I missed. I also think it is highly possible that Welsz would better be described as part of the extended Hungarian Mafia than as an agent of the state. Let’s not forget what happened in 1996 with the killing of Jozsef Prisztas, an underworld figure shot at point-blank range with a 9mm pistol while sitting in his car, and the serious wounding of Csaba Lakatos, a prominent Hungarian racehorse owner who was shot three times with a rifle at Budapest’s race track. I was in Budapest at the time and remember the events very well. There are periodic reports in Hungary of forced sex traffic by Hungarian and Russian Mafia, including abductions of girls only 14 and 15 years old who are sold off. The value of the illegal drug trade in Hungary is now at about the same level as that of legal and illegal prostitution. Because of the overall level of organized crime in Hungary and in the entire Central Europe/Russia people like Welsz have… Read more »
Member

OT
Say yes to Fidesz, while saying goodbye to your alcohol! Just like the tobacco shop nationalization the nationalization of the liquor industry is coming up, and Fidesz does not deny it!
So , if you live in a small place, rest assured to stack up on hard liquor now, before you go to vote for Fidesz OR make sure everyone knows you vote for Fidesz so you will likely end up with one of the stores.
If you have a small grocery store, start to advertise in your window that you will vote for Fidesz in exchange for the national liquor store contract.

Tamas Gergely
Guest

What a sordid affair of the state just weeks away a parliamentary election.
I can agree with Szarhegyi’s comment..In politics everything is timing and surprise-surprise the fingers are pointing toward MSZP just in the right time. I believe this Simon guy was helping his party and perhaps himself as well. Stealing is not a specialty of the circle around MSZP. Here is “Szazadveg” a think-tank close to Fidesz. Millions of HUFs are poured in of taxpayers money for what? Writing reports of public-opinions, economic trends, polls does not suppose to cost millions. Well, if Szazadveg VP and his brother Ambassador to Austria can steal family heirlooms would you trust them with public money? All these political hacks are thieves.

tappanch
Guest

Snapshot of Hungary, 2014.

Comments on
“President of the USA meets the president of Prezi”

http://444.hu/2014/03/02/a-hazaarulo-prezi-vezer-az-antikrisztussal-szovetkezik/

Anna Krisztina
Guest

I stopped reading your article after discovering a lot of desinformation. Not so important, but Mr Simon was in business not in XIII. but XVIII. district. Important: “then came the news on March 6 that Simon’s money most likely had something to do with Tamás Welsz” – you are mixing information here. In the news this has never been stated. It is said that the passport came from Mr Welsz. And Mr Welsz kept some extra money in his private safe for Mr Simon. The source of the money is still a question. MSZP cannot shake it, because Mr Simon is with them for ages since he was a young “nobody” with no business background. He was a teacher by profession. But, feel free to mix information and then talk about here and there how Orbán is doing exactly like that.

petofi
Guest

I hate the quality of reporting in Hungary.
Has anyone stated why a passport from G-B is useful?
Is it accepted without visa in most western countries?

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