Daily News Hungary | Feb 22, 2019 | 1
Hungarian minister denies reports he was entrusted with EUR 4.3 bn to buy government bonds
Lajos Kósa, a minister without portfolio in charge of the government’s Modern Cities scheme, has labeled as “fake news” a report by the daily Magyar Nemzet saying that he was entrusted with 4.35 billion euros by a client to buy government bonds.
Citing a notarial deed, Magyar Nemzet said on Tuesday that the money was deposited into an FHB Bank account. The document dated January 28, 2013 revealed that Kósa had signed a contract with his client to purchase government bonds from the money and deposit them into his client’s investment account.
“I’ve never bought government securities for anyone and never accepted money from anyone,” Kósa said when asked to comment on the report at a news conference on a different subject.
The minister said he had once recommended to a German woman introduced to him by a co-worker’s acquaintance that she invest the large sum of money she had inherited into Hungarian government bonds. However, “nothing ever became of it”, he said. He said the woman’s lawyer was a “distant acquaintance” of his, adding that the lawyer had “probably tried the story on others as well”.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said it will turn to the European Commission over the report.
DK spokesman Zsolt Greczy said his party will ask the EC to find out who Kósa’s client was and investigate whether the National Bank of Hungary had ever looked into the matter or the money’s origin. DK also wants to know whether Kósa had been subjected to any vetting as is required when someone is entrusted with such a high sum of money. Further, the party wants to know whether the European anti-money laundering authorities had been notified of the case, Greczy added.
Featured image: MTI