We have recently come across a rather odd mystery in Hungary. In a year, 75 million cartridges may be produced on the production line, but it is not known where they are delivered. The company demands compensation now. How’s it going to proceed?
Csaba Papp, the managing director of Borsodi General Engineering Plant Ltd (BS-GÉP) shared details with 24.hu regarding the complicated case. “The GRU agent Russians, who have been forced out of the country by the intelligence services, may sue me in Budapest for revealing where a NATO-compatible ammunition production line is, which I imported from Turkey, also a NATO member, while some NER acrobat has been profiting from it for years,” Papp said.
In one shift, 25 million rounds of 7.62 x 39 millimetre Kalashnikov ammunition are produced by the production line that vanished. Not only its manager, but also the competent authorities do not know where they can be located. Since a bullet costs about USD 2, up to 75 million rounds could come off the line in three shifts. So in one year, USD 150 million, or HUF 52 billion in revenue, has disappeared.
The series was imported from Turkey by BS-GÉP. It was intended for the gunpowder and ammunition factory in Balatonfűzfő, but it did not end up there.
The case of the phantom factory and the bullet production line even turned into a lawsuit. The proceedings brought by Csaba Papp on suspicion of budgetary fraud have been closed. The court found no budgetary damage or other debts to the state. For this reason, Papp would like to claim the benefit, as he has not received it so far.
The lost profit could be as much as HUF 200 billion (EUR 539,059,747.80), as the line disappeared in 2018. The story of the missing ammunition production machine is mysterious and fascinating anyway, but the situation is exacerbated by the fact that there is an ammunition shortage all over Europe due to the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Not long ago, a shipment of one million rounds of ammunition has been arranged in Brussels to help Ukraine. There is currently no operating, domestically owned ammunition factory in Hungary, but there are plans. In Várpalota, a giant 70 billion euro project has recently been launched.
What is behind this odd case?
The Mil-Exim ammunition factory has been in operation since 2015. The project was to be funded by a mix of EU, private and public entities.
When an attempt was made to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief adviser, the first reports in Ukraine cited that Hungarian-made bullets were fired at his car.
The alleged, approximate location of the production line is said to be somewhere in the NAV customs warehouse, where it was transferred in 2018. Papp filed a complaint against the head of the company for abuse of office and embezzlement.
Military equipment cannot be removed from the NAV warehouse without the permission of the capital’s government office. Papp repeatedly asked in vain for information on who had received the permit.
What is known is that it was taken from the warehouse, but there is no official information on who got his hands on it and where it was delivered, hence, compensation cannot be carried out.
The short story is that he bought a production line in Turkey, it arrived to NAV customs and disappeared….now, who could have stole it…ahh