MNKH files report in Quaestor case

History

The Hungarian National Trading House Company (MNKH), a state-owned firm established to build economic ties abroad, yesterday filed a report on suspected embezzlement of interest revenue on bonds that now-insolvent brokerage Quaestor owned, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Hungarian news agency MTI. 

The National Bank of Hungary suspended Quaestor’s operating license on March 6 due to irregularities. According to news reports, a few hours before the brokerage went into bankruptcy, MNKH had withdrawn all state money from the brokerage.

Early news reports suggested the order for the action came from the foreign ministry based on alleged insider information, however Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán later said he personally ordered “all ministries” to withdraw state money from “any brokerages”, an order he gave using his “common sense” in order to save “taxpayers’ money.”

The Quaestor CEO, who has been since put into pre-trial detention on suspicion of fraud, reportedly wrote to Orbán before the scandal broke, to ask the prime ministerʼs help in saving the brokerage and thereby preventing the loss of money of approximately 50,000 clients, as well as the loss of about 800 jobs.

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