EU probes for fraud at firm once owned by PM’s son-in-law

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The European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Investigation Office (OLAF) reportedly launched a probe of public lighting contracts obtained by Elios Zrt., the firm formerly part-owned by the prime minister’s son-in-law, Hungarian online daily origo.hu reported today.

István Tiborcz and Viktor Orbán celebrating Christmas in 2013. (Photo: Official Facebook page of Viktor Orbán)

Elios Zrt. is owned by Green Universe and Green Investments Kft., and the latter firm used to be owned by István Tiborcz, the son-in-law of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, according to reports. Investigative website átlátszó.hu said that Tiborcz was paid some HUF 470 mln in dividends in 2014 from the profits of Green Investments. Tiborcz reportedly sold his ownership of Green Investments to WHB Befektetési Kft in late April.

The Democratic Coalition (DK), an opposition party, reportedly told Origo that the firm is being investigated by OLAF. This shows that “the sudden growth of the income of the prime minister’s family and friends has become visible for Europe as well,” a DK party member said, according to Origo. “Viktor Orbán’s family and friends do not stand on their own legs, but they stuff their pockets from EU funds,” the DK party member added.

Elios company officials told Origo today that they know n0thing about the investigation and that they conduct business legally.

Origo reported that, when Tiborcz was still among the owners, Elios Zrt. was awarded HUF 1.2 bln in European Union funding for the upgrade of public lighting in cities around Hungary.

The Hungarian police’s anti-corruption office also launched an investigation of a series of public tenders won by Elios Zrt. earlier this year. 

Elios Innovatív Zrt.ʼs primary area of business includes the upgrade of public lighting systems.

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