Report: Socialist MP’s wife named in offshore scandal

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Csilla Konti, the wife of opposition Socialist MP László Boldvai, is another Hungarian named in the “Panama Papers” leak of 11.5 million files from the database of Mossack Fonseca, a law firm and consultancy specializing in managing offshore businesses, Hungarian investigative website direkt36.hu reported today.

According to an article in direkt36, documents the investigative team acquired show that, as a secondary school teacher in a rural town of Hungary, Konti acquired an offshore company registered in Samoa, and on the day of acquisition measures were taken so that €255,000 could be transferred to the company from a Swiss bank account.

Boldvai, who is still active in politics, was an MP of the party while his wife was the owner of the company, direkt36 reports. In the mid-nineties the politician was the treasurer of the party, direkt36 notes.

“Boldvai became relatively well-known in connection with the greatest corruption scandal of the ’90s, the so called Tocsik-case. He was even charged with blackmailing, but he was acquitted and his political career continued seamlessly,” direkt36 says.

The Panama Papers were leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and with the coordination of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, more than 370 journalists from 76 countries have been processing the documents, according to The Guardian. In Hungary, direkt36 has been going through the list, and the website says that other Hungarian businesspeople and companies who are named in the papers will have their identities published in the coming weeks. 

Although the usage of offshore companies is legal, these firms can also be used for illegal purposes, including sheltering income from tax authorities. According to The Guardian, the leak of Mossack Fonsecaʼs files have shown how Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently been hiding a massive amount of personal wealth. The leak also snared the prime minister of Iceland in scandal after it was alleged that he was hiding his income in offshore accounts.

There have been joint international attempts to fight the usage of offshore companies, because they obstruct tax collection and can obscure the ultimate beneficial owners of companies.

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