Does Putin have something on Orbán? Suspicion lingers

Just as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wants to know what the Russians have on Donald Trump, many Hungarians would like to know what Vladimir Putin has on Viktor Orbán. A couple of days ago a Russian journalist, Anastasia Kirilenko, published a lengthy article for The Insider, which is actually a Russian-language site, titled “Suitcase from Solntsevo: Does Putin have a video-kompromat of the Hungarian leader?” Kirilenko’s story takes us back to the 1990s when Budapest was a hotbed of Russian mafia bosses and other shady characters from all over the world.

The story is not entirely new, but this is the first time that Viktor Orbán is named as the possible beneficiary of a suitcase full of illicit money from the most important man in the Russian mafia, the Ukrainian Semion Mogilevich, who lived in Budapest at the time. Mogilevich has been described by the FBI as “the most dangerous mobster in the world.” He has been accused of “weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale.” After it looked as if he might get in trouble with the law in Hungary, he left for Russia where he lives in a suburb of Moscow called Solntsevo. Hence the title of Kirilenko’s article.

Another famous mafia chief and a friend of “Szeva bácsi” (Uncle Seva), as he was called by his friends in Budapest, was the German Dietmar Clodo, who in the 1980s was arrested for bank robbery at least twice in Germany. Eventually, he was also arrested in Hungary and received a ten-year sentence, which he was able to serve in Germany. He was released in 2011 and since then has been heading a security firm.

I wrote a post in 2013 about Mogilevich and Clodo in Budapest in which I looked into the role of Sándor Pintér, minister of interior, in the affairs of the Russian mafia bosses. There is good reason to believe that Clodo and Mogilevich were paying Pintér protection money. Several times a year large sums of money were sent by Mogilevich via Clodo to Pintér. But that’s not all. There is a good possibility that Pintér was aware of something about Orbán’s past that he was/is using against him. In 1998, at the time of the formation of the first Orbán government, the young prime minister insisted on naming Pintér minister of interior, an appointment that even his colleagues disapproved of. A former police chief as minister of interior? But Orbán insisted. In fact, Orbán is so attached to Pintér that he appointed him minister of interior in both the second and the third Orbán governments. The fellow must be the very best minister of interior in the whole world. People suspect that Pintér has a stranglehold on Orbán as a result of some earlier action by the prime minister of a sinister or perhaps even criminal nature. And this may have to do with Mogilevich and Clodo.

Jürgen Roth, a well-known German investigative journalist specializing in organized crime, especially in Eastern Europe, interviewed Clodo in June 2016 in Regensburg. Roth incorporated the written testimony of Clodo in his 2016 book, Schmutzige Demokratie: Ausgehölt—Ausgenutzt—Ausgelöscht? According to this document, Clodo was entrusted by Mogilevich to deliver sums of money to various officials, “among whom was Sándor Pintér.” In the spring of 1994, just before the national election, “Mogilevich’s interpreter brought [Clodo] a suitcase with approximately one million deutschmarks.” Clodo was told that the suitcase must be handed to the young man in Clodo’s study and that he was supposed to open the suitcase right there because behind the books was a hidden camera which recorded the exchange. But the young man was extremely reluctant to enter the house. As Clodo recalls in his written testimony, “this man didn’t want to come into my house. I told him, ‘Listen to me, I have that damned money in a suitcase. I don’t want to go out on the street with this suitcase. I don’t care. If you refuse to come in, I will give it back to Mr. Mogilevich. I don’t care.’ I wasn’t interested in who this man was. It was only after the elections that I understood that this young man was Viktor Orbán from Fidesz.”

Clodo told the same story to Antónia Rádi in 2013, who was then working for HVG. She published the story in HVG at the time but, after consulting with the magazine’s lawyers, decided to withhold the politician’s name. When the story, without mentioning Orbán’s name, came out, few people showed any interest in her story. It was only György Bolgár who decided to interview Rádai on his show on Klub Rádió. He correctly noted that if this story is true, whoever the politician is can’t feel safe. After all, that video might still be in the possession of Uncle Seva in Moscow.

So, let’s return to Mogilevich who, after the FBI, the Italian police, and the Swiss national security office were after him, fled to Moscow in 2003. Although the Russian authorities were fully aware of his criminal past, he was allowed to settle in Moscow in great comfort, apparently because of “his close relationship to Putin from the Leningrad days,” meaning the years prior to 1996 when Putin was working for the City of Saint Petersburg.

Anastasia Kirilenko points out that Orbán was fiercely anti-Russian until 2009, when he did an about-face and became a great friend of Vladimir Putin and Russia. What happened? Her answer is: “There is a good possibility that the reason for Orbán’s sudden pro-Russian attitude has something to with Semion Mogilevich’s arrest in Moscow for tax evasion and his subsequent clearance on all charges.”

Clodo, who was interviewed by The Insider, described Orbán today as Putin’s puppet. He is certain that, for his freedom, Mogilevich handed Putin the video-kompromat that showed Orbán receiving the suitcase full of money. Whatever the case, Orbán by now seems to fulfill all “orders” coming from Moscow. For example, Orbán went so far in 2015 as to agree to the refurbishing of a memorial which included a marble obelisk referring to the Soviet soldiers who died during the “Hungarian counterrevolution.”

Memorial to the victims of the 1956 “counterrevolution”

Of course, Clodo’s story about the Orbán incident may be the figment of his imagination, but there is a good likelihood that he is telling the truth about the kickbacks Pintér received from Mogilevich through Clodo. And we have to ask why Sándor Pintér has had a sinecure as minister of interior in all of the Orbán governments, spanning almost twenty years. One can’t help wondering about that, just as one must ponder the reasons for the unnatural sudden change of Orbán’s attitude toward Russia.

February 5, 2017
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Guest

So now we know that Orbán is a criminal.

bimbi
Guest

Actually we already know that. Orban’s theft/diversion of tax money (football stadia) and theft/diversion of EU cohesion funds (single bid funding awards) have certainly caused people to die in hospitals through slow or inadequate treatment, for the homeless to freeze to death and for pensioners having to choose between medication or fuel. However, I doubt if anyone in the government has a conscience active enough to acknowledge such a connection.

Guest

But what this latest from Éva reveals is not just the business-as-usual corruption-on-every-level of the Fidesz government, but that Orbán is personally implicated in a serious outright criminal activity related to trafficking, drugs, prostitution, and even possibly murder, as well as being the victim himself of blackmail by Putin.
It is for that reason a very important post and one I hope the EU will investigate, regardless of any scaremongering from either the Kremlin, or Orbán’s henchmen.

bimbi
Guest

time4change @7:45 a.m.

I fear it “ain’t gonna happen”. The mere handing over of a suitcase full of money (obviously to support a capable young politician who needs a bit of help), if it happened, does not constitute “serious outright criminal activity related to trafficking, drugs, prostitution, and even possibly murder” on the recipient’s part.
Don’t hold your breathe – we need you!

Guest

A fantastic story calls for a fantastic theory.

Is it Russian disinformation/information? Did Putin get tired of Orban? Soft termination?

Member

All we have a handful of facts pointing in a strange and dangerous direction. The question that arises is not of a tabloid type. Anyone can create any theory, it can just as be called as a working hypothesis until one comes up with a more plausible one or we get a final proof.

Guest

Funnily enough there is not much info on Clode in German – 90% of the google links on him are Hungarian, interesting, isn’t it?
And the German press also calls him a Hungarian – so when and how did he come to Germany?

He must have been a really ugly character (probably still is – might call him an arch-criminal without any scruples) and his involvment with the guy Drach who kidnapped the German billionnaire Reemtsma and asked for several millions of Marks is also strange.
http://www.focus.de/magazin/archiv/reemtsma-entfuehrung-helfer-im-gefaengnis_aid_170061.html
I wouldn’t want him to come near me …

Corruption in the 1990s in Budapest must have really been abominable – I’ve written about my brother in law who won’t set a foot on Hungarian soil again because of this. And he spent many years as a businessman in Africa and the Arab world, so he’s been around and knows about corruption …

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘brother in law won’t set foot on Hungarian soil….’

I guess my late mother was right on with her advice to keep away, far away from the same place. She knew too where the vipers lay.

I know it’s been said there is a fear the new POTUS will drag us in to some conflict like a bull in a china shop. But it must be said that in handling international affairs he will be coming to grips with an amorality that will perhaps stun him no end if he hasn’t seen it yet. If Europe plunges into some debacle sometime ahead we can rest assured though it had a part of its genesis in the ‘dynamic duo’ of the V and P Consortium and the cronies and hangers-on who play their game throughout the continent. And one question is how much room is left in the house of corruption to hold off its effects for Europe?

webber
Guest

Wolfi – Clodo is German. He does not speak a word of Hungarian.
His criminal activity, however, was mostly or almost exclusively in Hungary and in Russia, so he isn’t so interesting to Germans.

bimbi
Guest

This article brings the Russia-Hungary-Putin-Orban questions nicely into focus. We should not forget that Orban has been adamant in opposing the opening of communist-era files in Hungary, a step that greatly would have contributed – through transparency – to providing clarity to post-1989 politics.

az angol beteg
Guest

People who cross the reptilian Pinter Sanyi quite often experience difficulties with their safety or their liberty.
You’re quite brave Éva, I commend you. S

Guest

Is this a threat? What does the final S mean?

Igor the frogman
Guest

It seems that you don’t know Sándor too well. He knows exactly that he’s not a very popular personality. But that commes with the territory. Why should he care what people write or think about him? It’s Viktor Orban who should be worried but the thing is no kompromat will ever be published unless Orban decides to betray his master. And since Orban will never abandon Putin he may sleep like a baby.

Istvan
Guest

Well being a highly trained KGB agent I would expect Putin to have something on Orban and likely Trump too. It’s also hard to believe if the CIA spyed on Merkel it also did not monitor Orban’s cell phones etc. Possibly one of the few truths President Trump has expressed is that the USA like Russia is not innocent. It’s actually hilarious that US Senator Mitch McConnell who is 75 years old and has been lying at least that long criticized Trump for admitting that truth.

gyuri47
Guest
Clodo’s name in Hungarian media was “The bombmaker” and according to sources Pinter met with Codo several times while Clodo was in the business of making bombs in Hungary. Why Pinter would want to meet Clodo was never re0ally established. Let us remember that in the run up to the 1998 elections (which Orban won) there were several smaller-sized bombs exploding (though some eventually failed to explode) at the houses of right-wing politicians such as the recently deceased József Torgyan, József Szajer and at the party offices of the Kisgazdák, Fidesz and MDF (who would later form the coalition in 1998). There was never any serious harm, but the stories were in the media. It looked like poor right-wingers were targeted by some unknown dark force. Also, it looked like the Socialist-SZDSZ coalition Ministry of Interior was impotent and unable to catch any of the assailants. This was important because prior to this series of smaller bombs several really big bombs were also detonated killing well-known mafia heads (sometimes innocent bystanders too). Gyula Horn (the Socialist prime minister) even berated his Minister of Interior (Gabor Kuncze of SZDSZ) publicly: “What we have here is not public security”. This police impotence… Read more »
Guest

Thanks, Gyuri!

A bit OT but illustrating Clodo’s character:
He admitted that he organised a hand grenade which was put on the letter that asked those million Deutsche Marks for the safe return of kidnapped Reemtsma. So he showed that he was “serious” …

Member

That Orban was an informant was already suggested by Simicska.in 2015.
Orban didn’t deny.
Unfortunately the hungarian public was not very interested.

Delta sounds
Guest

The title of a recent book on Putin’s reign of terror says it all: “The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep.”

Istvan
Guest

Orban makes Steve Bannon’s Brietbart news for supporting President Trump yet again http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/02/06/united-states-right-set-border-policy-says-hungarian-prime-minister/

wrfree
Guest

Opening up my paper today I see the Romanians told their leaders where it’s at regarding corruption in their society. It appears they learned much from the deplorable Ceausescu years. The government has backed off in putting through a law that would have left some politicians off the hook in corruption activities. The Romanians arguably more than the Magyars look more progressive in their attitudes towards elites getting their ‘discounts’ as they supposedly do their jobs.

Observer
Guest

Although there is no definite proof, everything points in the same direction, as it has been for years. This episode is another indication that Orban and his closer gang are totally immoral characters and another example of , let’s say, their involvement in what very much looks like criminal activities, embezzlement above all.

In short: the Orban mafia state.

Pole
Guest

In Poland is all the same. Number Two in the country is minister of Defence Antoni Macierewicz strange figure with very suspicious ties to Russian business . He’s totally out of Kaczynski control since his time as a Interior Minister in 1991-1992 when he attain a lot of Kompromitat materials from comunist era.

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