The investigative unit of Hungary’s prosecution service so far has questioned five people suspected of fraudulent activities linked to Budapest’s Metro 4 project, daily Magyar Hírlap reported on Wednesday, citing a spokesperson for the authority. The paper added that none of the suspects were public officials.
The investigation concerning French engineering company Alstom’s contracts for the Budapest metro was launched in January last year, after the European Union’s anti-fraud office (OLAF) presented the findings of a probe it had conducted, in November 2016.
The M4 project was completed in 2014 and cost a total 452 billion forints (EUR 1.4bn), partly financed with European Union funds.
At the start of the investigation, the government estimated that 272 billion forints may have been used irregularly, while another 166 billion forints “were stolen”. Government officials called the suspected fraud “the largest corruption case” during the period of Hungary’s EU membership and accused the former Socialist governments of benefitting.