The Budapest Court of Appeal has sentenced a Nigerian national to three years in prison and three years’ expulsion from Hungary for money laundering, the prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.
The court also ordered the seizure of 1,000 euros from the primary defendant, the prosecutor’s office said.
The Nigerian national and his accomplices were charged in 2018 with operating the Budapest branch of an international fraud and money laundering ring.
Starting in 2016, they paid Hungarian and Slovak citizens relatively small fees to open bank accounts and withdraw the monies transferred there. The payments came from an international fraud scheme which tricked market players into making payments to those accounts by pretending they belonged to their business partners, the prosecution said.
The organisation defrauded Romanian, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese and US companies, as well as a well-known French football team.
A Budapest court handed a sentence to the primary defendant in February 2020. The ruling became binding with the decision of the Appeals Court on February 2.
As we wrote a two weeks ago, a local court gave twelve top officials of the country’s Ministry of Health prison sentences because of corruption. The ministry spent 20 million dollars on COVID-19 protective equipment and tests, during which they transferred 2 million dollars to the Hungarian bank account of a Swiss consulting company. Details HERE.