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EUʼs anti-fraud office suspects fraud in Budapest metro construction, Politico says

MNB

Wikimedia Commons

European anti-fraud office OLAF suspects fraud in connection with the building of Budapest’s fourth metro line and has suggested Hungary refund the European Union nearly EUR 300 million, Politico reported today citing OLAF documents it has obtained.

The political news and analysis site claims the documents it acquired show that OLAF revealed “serious irregularities — fraud and possible corruption” in the financing for the EUR 1.7 billion project. The website added that it recommended the European Commission reclaim EUR 228 mln and that the European Investment Bank be repaid EUR 55 mln.

“OLAF can confirm that it has concluded an investigation into alleged fraud and irregularities related to the development of Metro Line 4 in Budapest, Hungary,” Politico cited an OLAF spokesperson as saying.

“The EIB said it is considering how to respond to the recommendations from OLAF, and that in the past it has requested repayment of loans when corruption has been uncovered,” the Politico report added.

Flórián Szalóki, Hungary’s deputy state secretary for transport issues, told Politico that the authorities in Budapest had received a hard copy of OLAF’s 104-page report but warned that it would take months before any decision on money being repaid was taken, the website reported.

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