The heist of two million euros

Three days ago, thanks to 444.hu, the Hungarian public at last learned about a robbery that had actually taken place during the night of April 7. In the last three months not a word about it has leaked out, despite an extensive police investigation. The effort to keep the case under wraps is not at all surprising because the burglary occurred at the office of Arton Capital, one of the four companies that were entitled to sell residency bonds.

The residency bond project was launched in 2013. It allowed a citizen of a non-European country to “buy” a resident permit for the duration of five years by purchasing €250,000 worth of Hungarian government bonds. In 2015 that amount was raised to €300,000. I called the project “the Orbán government’s colossal swindle” in one of my posts. Anyone who’s interested in the details should read that post, in which I explained that the greatest beneficiaries of this arrangement were the four companies that had the exclusive right to sell the bonds. According to estimates, these companies made a real killing, receiving about a third of the 1.2 billion euros the state got from the residency bonds.

When 444.hu first reported on the heist, few details were known, just that the burglars took cash and that the amount of money was in the millions. A few hours later RTL Klub knew the exact figures: altogether 1.9 euros were stolen. One million was in a safe and the rest was in an unlocked desk drawer. The safe was gone and so was the server with the complete documentation of all the sales, including personal data of the purchasers.

This burglary has been taken very seriously. According to accounts, the police have pulled out all the stops in trying to solve the case. Index reported that 1,300 people have been questioned in connection with this affair.

We have always suspected that this whole residency bond arrangement, devised by Antal Rogán, served only one purpose: to siphon off as much public money as possible and pass it into individual pockets and most likely also into Fidesz’s coffers. Under normal circumstances, all transactions should have been conducted by drafts or promissory notes. Moreover, if this large amount of cash was part of the clients’ handling fee that varied between €45,000 and €60,000 per residency bond, how did these cash payments reach Arton Capital in Budapest in the first place? A person can legally bring a maximum of €10,000 into the country in cash. The answer of course is that it was done illegally, possibly with the assistance of the authorities.

The burglars were skilled. Their entry and their movements inside the offices showed a high level of professionalism. I assume they were familiar with the place and knew exactly what they were after. Naturally, as always happens in such cases, so-called experts, mostly former police officers, come up with all sorts of fancy explanations–from self-robbery to foreign secret service agents who are after the personal data of the people to whom Hungary so generously allowed free access to the whole European Union. In any case, it looks like a complicated case to me. Even if the usually inept Hungarian police find the culprits, I don’t think we will ever learn the real story behind this huge amount of cash stashed away in an unlocked drawer and a safe.

The weak and usually powerless opposition, especially Jobbik and LMP, has been trying to organize an investigative committee to look into this very suspicious business around the residency bonds. Naturally, Fidesz made sure that no such committee would be formed. Therefore, last November Jobbik, LMP, and the tiny Liberal Party decided to form a “shadow committee” and began their own, unofficial investigation of the clearly illegal and corrupt money laundering business conducted by the Orbán government. At that time, the opposition members of parliament who participated in the shadow committee hoped to finish their job by the spring. After this initial announcement I didn’t see any sign of their activities, although they had ambitious plans, including holding hearings where employees of the Immigration and Citizenship Authority would be called to testify. But now, after the burglary, the shadow committee suddenly revived. They announced that they want to talk to the representatives of the four companies who are in the residency bond business. Good luck, since I’m certain that the men and women in question have no intention of being questioned by members of an opposition shadow committee. On the other hand, a representative of the Liberal Party claims that the members of the committee have learned that the residency bond project is “a professionally organized criminal undertaking.”

A Jobbik member of the committee, Andrea Varga-Damm, was Olga Kálmán’s guest on HírTV yesterday where she revealed an important piece of information, which is most likely the result of the investigation this shadow committee has been conducting in the last few months. The law that established the project was enacted on December 27, 2012. Twenty-six days earlier, on December 1, the government made some small changes in the bill, which up to that point had allowed the companies to hold only a certain amount of money in petty cash. That limit was abolished, most likely not quite independently from the forthcoming residency bond project. Talk about “a professional organized criminal undertaking.” All was prepared for the killing ahead.

June 30, 2017
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Member

Inside job, organized by the personal secret-secret agents of Fidesz. They keep the money and destroy the records.

The viktor and Lölő gets their share from everything.

exTor
Guest

I never understood the ‘bond’ part of this seeming scam. Even if the entry money ended up in Fidesz coffers (and elsewhere), it still had to be repaid. Bond purchases are in effect loans to the issuing government. What’s in it for Fidesz? Most of the money would eventually have to be paid back.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Judit
Guest

The handling fee of each dealing was rather significant , it was mentioned in Eva’s article.It amounted to 45 000 euros .That is not a bad income per dealing.

Ferenc
Guest

What’s in it for the participants? Life long residence permit (basically after 5 years for free)
What’s in in for Fidesz? all the ‘handling’ money (at start)
Who really pays for all this? The Hungarian State! (after 5 years)

ambator
Member

Yes, you are correct. They steal the money and the state will pay it back, nevertheless. In fact this is their other way of transforming public money into private loot.

dos929
Guest

There is no need for police investigation. It is an inside job to steal even more monies and blame it on imaginary robbers. In this ‘rotten to the core’ FIDESZ regime there are no limits to the means of bleeding dry the resources of the country at the expense of the tax paying citizens. Austria with a similar population and workforce size produces 3 and half times the GDP of Hungary, and even this small amount of national income is reduced by the theft that is the hallmark of the regime. When enough will be enough for the Hungarians and for the EU?

Member

“Arton Capital” had 172 clients in 2016, and received 60000 euros in fees from each client.

But the company admitted only 7.7% of its income. The rest disappeared in a UAE company.

https://mno.hu/gazdasag/kotvenymutyi-megint-nem-jott-ki-a-matek-az-egyetlen-magyar-cegnel-2401395

Member

Rogan’s Bulgarian-born university classmate took out 230 million in dividends from Arton Capital in 2016.

Member

Summary of the “residency bond scheme”:

Immigrant: little net profit after 5 years + European residency
Rogan’s intermediary companies: huge profit

Hungarian state: (little + huge) loss

Member

Summary of the “residency bond” scam:

Immigrant: little net profit after 5 years + European residency
Rogan’s intermediary companies: huge profit

Hungarian state: (little + huge) loss

Remark: the “edit” function has some problem today.

Member

Interior minister Pinter’s summary as of June 2, 2017:

http://www.parlament.hu/irom40/15714/15714-0001.pdf

The number of people who obtained European residency permit through this scheme could be as high as 28,000 people !!

Pinter:
A= 3659 (applicants) + 6661 (relatives)
B= 6621 (applicants) +11051 (relatives)

residency permits = A union B – (A intersect B), but Pinter avoided giving out the size of the intersection

Member

Rough profit estimate of Rogan’s intermediary companies:

10,000 applicants * 75,000 euros (fees+price discount for the bonds) = 0.75 billion euros.

Member

mno.hu’s profit estimate: 81,000 euros/applicant

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Member

The flowchart above is not complete. The Hungarian state will also pay out about 9 million HUFs in interest after 5 years

Member

Immigrant: (16-9i=) 7 million HUF loss + European residency

Rogan’s intermediary companies: (16+9d =) 25 million profit

Hungarian state: (9i+9d =) 18 million HUF loss/applicant

i= interest
d= discount

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Budapest the best place in Europe to launder money?

Member

OT (but is anything really OT in the little Viktator’s sinecure?)

LEX VICTORIS: suggested sequel for Orban’s ad hoc law coterie: “No university permitted in Hungary if founder has blue-eyed, left-handed maternal uncle called Győző…” Make sure to apply transparently and even-handedly to all Hungarian universities, without fear or favor, and prepare legal team to invoke indignantly before EU Court of Justice…
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Member

LAST LAUGH?

For those seeking a moment of magyar mirth:


It is trivially false that Mr. Soros is “the most influential billionaire in the world” (that would, of course, have to be Trump).

But Mr. Soros is certainly one of the most decent billionaires in the world (whereas Trump is perhaps the most despicable).

(Orbump (Lilliputin), already a billionaire in forints bled from Hungary’s slaughtered (Mészárolt) economy, is merely odious; his fiefdom and depredations are too inconsequential to measure up to those of his 3 P/E/T mentors…)

CEU: Stay the course: Knowledge always leaves a deeper imprint than Kleptocracy.

wrfree
Guest

Re: the kleptocracy, the heist and imaginary robbers

Could be a a bunch of the disgruntled
who haven’t got ‘paid’. Could be a Magyar ‘Robin Hood’ who was not a very ‘merry’ vassal under an implacable King John. Could be porch-climbers who just saw that opportunity knocks!

Anyway, they all take it from Woody Allen. It’s great advice for those who live life on the high and low of the fiscal edges….
‘Take the money and run’. 😎

Democracy isn’t healthy but the kleptos are doing great. Magyarorszag, a land of Madoffs who make the Medicis look as a bunch of goombahs just starting out.

Member

From the defunct Nepszabadsag, the largest daily of Hungary, closed down by Orban & St[rawman] last October:

(free market bond interest) – (residency permit bond interest)

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http://nol.hu/belfold/letelepedes-kotveny-letelepedesi-kotveny-habony-arpad-uzlet-penz-1629109

http://nol.hu/belfold/hatalmasat-bukik-az-allam-rogan-otleten-habony-baratai-meg-jol-jarnak-1629407

Member

The original 7 offshore intermediaries (contract date with Rogan’s parliamentary committee)

2013.04.09: Grand Cayman, Hungary State Special Debt Fund:
2013.05.27: Malta, Discus Holdings Ltd
2013.06.20: Cyprus, Innozone Holdings Limited

2013.07.25: Lichtenstein, S&Z program Limited
2013.08.22: Singapore, EURO-ASIA Investment Management Pte Ltd
2013.08.23: Lichtenstein, VolDan Investments Limited
2013.08.29: Budapest, Arton Capital

http://index.hu/gazdasag/2013/09/03/letelepedesi_allamkotveny/

Member

changes since 2013.

Revoked license:

2015.09.25: Lichtenstein, S&Z program Limited
2015.12.15: Malta, Discus Holdings Ltd
2015.12.15: Singapore, EURO-ASIA Investment Management Pte Ltd

Added company:
2015.12.15: Cyprus, Migrat Immigration Asia Ltd

So the current number of intermediary companies is 5.

Source:
pp. 62 & 63 (first mentioned here by @Ferenc below)
http://investmentmigration.org/download/whose-interest-shadows-hungarian-residency-bond-program

Member

Orban plans to resume the scam after the 2018 election.

https://mno.hu/gazdasag/ujraeledhet-a-letelepedesi-kotveny-2402158

Ferenc
Guest
When the end of last year I read about those Residence Bonds, I did some searches around this whole circus, especially the companies around it, like Arton Capital, interested me. Arton Capital (Hungary) is part of the Arton Group, together with Arton Investments (Quebec, Canada), Arton Bank (offshore banking in Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies) and Arton Media (Canada again). The media branch publishes ‘Global Citizen Magazine’*, and in their 2016.Jul issue they had an article about the Hungarian Residency Bonds, a quote: “In just 3 years Hungary has become one of the most popular residency programs in Europe among wealthy foreign investors. GC finds out why.”. Well the article is basically just an advert for the Residency Bonds, promoted as being secure, fast and transparent (!huh?, for who?). Read article: https://issuu.com/global-citizen/docs/gc33/42 (and 43) Individual pages (note add https: before //images.etc) //image.isu.pub/160703154846-e9c7e0fba730000382b90c3b69c47503/jpg/page_42.jpg //image.isu.pub/160703154846-e9c7e0fba730000382b90c3b69c47503/jpg/page_43.jpg *those wealthy global citizens seem to have one thing in common with George Soros: a world without borders The article also “informs” that in the summer of 2015 delays were experienced in the residency program, caused by the overwhelming number of refugees, which needed to be registered (note: for refugees there are borders). But in 2016 Hungary… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest
In December 2016, a report “In whose interests? Shadows over the Hungarian Residency Bond Program” was published by the Dr. Boldizsár Nagy (professor at CEU and ELTE), Investment Migration Council (Geneva, Switzerland) and Transparency International (Hungary). Report: http://investmentmigration.org/download/whose-interest-shadows-hungarian-residency-bond-program/ Quote: “Arton Capital objected through lawyers to various elements of this report and was given an opportunity to set out its position but declined to do so.” From Arton Capital’s site: In Arton Capital’s view the report is defamatory, contains false information, and has caused serious reputational damage to Arton Capital’s business. Arton Capital contends that the spread of this false information forms part of a broader smear campaign, which it believes is intended to damage its reputation within the industry. Therefore the Arton Group in 2017 May initiated legal proceedings in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against the Investment Migration Council and its UAE representative office CI Businessman Services (which operates under the name Citizenship Invest.) Furthermore Arton Capital stated to have spent more than a decade building a reputation of trust with governments around the world, the firm is a trusted partner with the governments of Canada, Cyprus, Hungary, Bulgaria, Armenia, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts & Nevis and… Read more »
kisüsti
Guest

My theory is that this was committed by traditional Hungarian organized criminals (many of whom such as Vizo, Tanyi etc. were taken to court by Sandor Pinter) and with the stolen info on the transactions (ie, the computer servers) such underworld figures can blackmail the government. The cash is just a bonus.

Guest

It really will be “interesting” to see where that stolen server with all the data goes to – will we ever see it/hear from it again?
This unbelievable corruption should have been checked by the EU of course – imho the people buying those bonds were not interested in Hungary at all, just in an easy way to get into the EU.
I’m just hoping that police/ security services in the EU know who has bought this “licence to enter the EU”, does anyone know about that?

bimbi
Guest

We need to be very clear in our minds as to what was being sold under this scheme. What was being sold was part of the patrimony of the Hungarian State – the right to grant residency to overseas nationals, a right belonging solely to the state.

By their usual scheme the Orban government (Rogan and Orban) declared that THEY are the “Hungarian State” and so through their parliamentary bill they “legalized” this massive theft from the Hungarian people for their own benefit.

Tapanch’s figures are eye-watering. Two million Euros is chicken-feed in comparison to what Rogan has already squirreled away. 750 Million Euros, was it?

I hate to say it but Jobbik got it right:

YOU WORK THEY STEAL

Member

Orban’s diplomats in New York have found eleven Jews who like “Victor Orben.” ! Good job.

http://consulate.newyork.gov.hu/download/5/f7/d1000/melléklet.pdf

Too bad, Jewish journalists could not identify these distinguished rabbis. “United Orthodox Congregation of NY” seems to be an unknown quantity.

http://www.szombat.org/politika/new-york-i-hitkozseg-es-egyeb-szamarsagok

Even Shlomo Koves of Chabad does not like Orban’s praise for the “exceptional” Horthy.

http://www.atv.hu/videok/video-20170629-koves-slomo

dos929
Guest

To put it simply; Orban himself and the FIDESZ leadership takes the Hungarian State as a whole as their own Real Estate, and the infrastructure, the buildings, historical monuments, etc… as their own property. If they want something they will get it either by direct theft or via some a series of complicated business deals that no one can untangle. Their modus operandi is the same for gaining the upper hand in matters of domestic politics, in getting their hands on the media, etc… etc…, the list is endless. They figured out that even in the unlikely event of their failing and losing the election the justice system cannot do anything against them, as whatever they have done was within the law, the very laws that they have cooked up to protect themselves. This FIDESZ mafia has managed to turn back this country to a state of large scale poverty, ruined health and education systems, deteriorated infrastructure, etc… that will take decades to repair, if it will be possible at all….

Member

Orban’s front man Meszaros has used converted (public to private) money to purchase lots of real estate around lake Balaton.

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http://nepszava.hu/cikk/1133582-meszaros-rivieraja-a-balaton

Guest

Thanks again, Tappanch!

I was quite sure that those hotels (Balaton and Hullam) in Keszthely would be sold to some Fidesz mafioso – they are ruins that have been standing empty for a long time!

So this will be a perfect project for a lot of money to restore these to their old beauty – directly on the Balaton of course.

Nobody wanted to invest there, much too expensive, but with a lot of state money, no problem …

Member

Himmler to Hitler on May 25, 1940:

“For the non-German population of the East there must be no higher school than the four-grade elementary school. The sole goal of this school is to be–
Simply arithmetic up to 500 at the most; writing of one’s name; the doctrine that it is a divine law to obey the Germans and to be honest, industrious, and good. I don’t think that reading is necessary. Apart from this school there are to be no schools at all in the East.”

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=63400

Orban 2017: [according to a Ministry of National Economy memorandum] wants to reduce the number of high school students significantly from September 2018.

https://mno.hu/belfold/fu-alatt-szoritanak-vissza-a-gimnaziumokat-2405850

wrfree
Guest

Not encouraging for the country’s intellectual future. Another set of nails going into the country’s educational coffin restricting choice of study and no doubt promulgating pissibly for decades the illiberalist values rather than democratic.

The repercussions could be many especially creating generational groups programmed by study to think slavishly
within a narrow and centralized educational atmosphere. VO’s act could sound the death knell for liberal arts education in the country. With that, the brain drain will start with the enterprising who see absolutely no upside to having doors closed in one’s face.

Observer
Guest

OMG
Where Zuschlag got an 8 year prison term for 20+ million and Tatrai and Csàszi 4-5 years for zero loss, how lond should Orban and minions sit for diverting 300 000+ million ? Eternity?

There is little doubt that whatever inept attempts were made to paper this over, the fact remains that the state was deprived of 300+ billion forints. Nobody believes that the Foreign Debt Handing Center (AKK), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the newly created (and totally useless) Trading Houses or the Ministry of Finance were all incapable of accepting the applications and funds and a couple of no name offshore jockeys were.
Off with their heads!

Ferenc
Guest

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