Home » News » Indictment in a money laundering case also investigated by OLAF

Based on the infor­ma­ti­on pro­vi­ded by the Euro­pe­an Anti-Fraud Offi­ce (OLAF), the Met­ro­po­li­tan Chief Pub­lic Pro­se­cu­ti­on Offi­ce has indic­ted eight men for money laun­der­ing com­mit­ted by an orga­ni­zed cri­mi­nal group. The value exce­e­ded HUF 210 mil­li­on (app­rox 700.000 EUR).

Accord­ing to the indict­ment, bet­ween 2019 and 2020, two orga­ni­zed cri­mi­nal gro­ups con­duc­ted ope­ra­tions whose acti­vi­ti­es were lin­ked to sel­l­ing of pro­ducts ori­gi­nat­ing from China in the Euro­pe­an Union. One of these cri­mi­nal orga­ni­za­tions acted in front of the cus­toms cle­arance in Hun­gary and used false docu­ments in which the value of the cus­toms goods were indi­ca­ted at a 5-10 lower price than their real value, thus the amount of cus­toms duty impo­s­ed was sig­ni­fi­cantly lower than what it sho­uld have been. In order to maxi­mi­se pro­fits furt­her, the man­da­tors of the orga­ni­zed cri­mi­nal group - per­pet­ra­tors of the orga­ni­sa­ti­on, ope­rat­ing in other EU Mem­ber Sta­tes - sold the goods thus clea­red and rele­as­ed for free cir­cu­la­ti­on thro­ug­ho­ut the EU thro­ugh a net­work of fic­tit­io­us com­pa­ni­es, wit­ho­ut pay­ing the VAT due on the sale.

The other orga­ni­zed cri­mi­nal group - in which a 37-year-old Chi­ne­se man, one of the defen­dants in this case, pla­yed a lead­ing role - orga­ni­sed and exe­cu­ted the tran­spor­tati­on of the cash pro­ce­eds from the pre­vi­o­us offen­ce from Spain via France and Italy, Slo­ve­nia and Buda­pest to Tur­key, where they were paid into Chi­ne­se bank accounts. The cash cou­ri­ers - the other defen­dants in the case - tra­vel­led to Buda­pest, som­etimes in swit­ched cars, and from the cap­ital to Istan­bul by plane.

A joint investiga­ti­on team was set up by the Ita­li­an, Slo­ve­ni­an, French and Hun­ga­ri­an aut­ho­ri­ti­es, with the assis­tance of Euro­just, which - thro­ugh the mutu­al sha­ring of evi­den­ce as well - cont­ri­bu­ted to the succ­ess­ful investiga­ti­on,. OLAF and Euro­pol were also invol­ved in the work of the joint investiga­ti­on team.

The Met­ro­po­li­tan Chief Pub­lic Pro­se­cu­ti­on Offi­ce sub­mit­ted char­ges aga­inst 3 Hun­ga­ri­an and 5 Chi­ne­se men to the Pest Cent­ral Dis­t­rict Court for the fel­ony of money laun­der­ing com­mit­ted by an orga­ni­zed cri­mi­nal group, fel­ony of for­gery of pub­lic docu­ments and the mis­de­me­ano­ur of use of for­ged pri­vate docu­ments. Two of the Chi­ne­se defen­dants are fugiti­ves and were char­ged in their absen­ce, as allo­wed by the Hun­ga­ri­an pro­ce­dural law. Two of the accu­s­ed people are cur­rently under cri­mi­nal super­vi­si­on, while anot­her defen­dant is in pre-trial detent­ion in anot­her case.

The Met­ro­po­li­tan Chief Pub­lic Pro­se­cu­ti­on Offi­ce has filed the motions that the court shall sen­ten­ce all the defen­dants to imp­ri­son­ment and fine, dec­la­re that they are not eli­gib­le for paro­le, dep­rive the Hun­ga­ri­an defen­dants of civil rights and order the Chi­ne­se defen­dants to be expel­led from the count­ry for a fixed term after ser­ving their sen­ten­ces. The Met­ro­po­li­tan Chief Pub­lic Pro­se­cu­ti­on Offi­ce has also pro­po­s­ed the con­fis­ca­ti­on of goods sei­zed during the investiga­ti­on.

The coope­ra­ti­on bet­ween the Hun­ga­ri­an Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce and OLAF is pre­sen­ted in the press rele­as­es of the Offi­ce of the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral, ava­i­lab­le here:

The per­for­mance of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary con­ti­nues to be out­stand­ing - the pro­se­cu­ti­on rate fol­lo­wing OLAF's judi­ci­al recom­men­da­tions is sig­ni­fi­cantly above the EU aver­age - The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary (ugyeszseg.hu)

The Offi­ce of the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral and OLAF have sign­ed an admi­nistra­tive coope­ra­ti­on arrange­ment - The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary (ugyeszseg.hu)