budapest was informed that almost 90 devices were stolen from the Parliament and the Representatives’ Office Building, including 7 brand new laptops that belong to the Fidesz party. The police suspects one of the storekeepers who could smuggle the devices out of the building while being watched by countless cameras, and without having to go through security. According to Péter Galsa, the suspect’s lawyer, politicians are trying to cover up the fact that during last year’s check-up nothing was missing.

The police is investigating the disappearance of seven laptops that belong to Fidesz – two HP, two Toshiba, and three Lenovo laptops arrived to the storeroom of the Representatives’ Office Building in March 2016, worth a total of 1.75 million HUF.

The Parliament guards belong to the armed services and have 370 guards. The organization was founded in 1 January 2013 to guard László Kövér, Speaker of the National Assembly, the Parliament building, and the Representatives’ Office Building. It costs 2.3 billion HUF a year to maintain the organization which has been surrounded by many scandals, but the Parliament dismissed the fired employee’s complains as the revenge of a past worker.

The former employee accused the organization of tampering with official papers, and changing the date of many documents to cover up the mistakes. The employee reported this to the police but the Central Investigating Chief Prosecutor’s Office could not find any evidence that a crime had been committed.

One of the laptops was found in an internet auction, and through the seller the police reached out to the storekeeper as soon as they realised that the two people knew each other. The storekeeper was accused of taking the 7 laptops and giving them to the seller, and later she was also accused of stealing 74 personal computers and 5 monitors, Péter Galsa added.

The storekeeper’s house was thoroughly searched but the police could find nothing. After searching her office space, it turned out that she lent the seller 110,000 HUF before Christmas 2015, and was paid back in March 2016.

The storekeeper worked in the Parliament building since September 2011, and was transferred to the Representatives’ Office Building in February 2016. The police could offer no explanation for how the woman could have stolen the laptops, monitors, and personal computers without being noticed.

According to the woman, they have to be checked as soon as they step into the building and their bags are also screened, but no one searches them after their shift ends and they head home. The lawyer said that, if the guards did not notice that someone smuggled these devices out of the building, than the buildings do not have the security needed.

The lawyer added that his client did not deny that she knew the seller, whose brother also works in the Parliament as a locksmith and supervised the workers who changed the pipes in the storeroom. The woman emphasized that she has to take financial responsibility for anything that is stolen from the storeroom, together with two of her colleagues, but no one else supervised the workers besides the seller’s brother.

Péter Galsa also emphasized that the Parliament and the Representatives’ Office Building should be among the safest places in Hungary, but the seller’s brother, who had a criminal record of crimes against property, had no trouble getting a type B security clearance, and could work in the Parliament building. Also, if one person could steal this many computers, despite being watched by several cameras, that could raise national safety issues.

Zoltán Szilágyi, spokesperson of the National Police Headquarters, confirmed that the case is already being investigated but could not give any further information due to security reasons. The investigation should be concluded by 5 June 2016, but it can be expended.

Copy editor: bm


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