Azerbaijani Laundromat investigation revealed that several bank transfers – totaling more than USD 7 million – were made to an MKB bank account in Budapest right around the time the Hungarian government handed over murdered Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan.
The investigation was conducted by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Danish Berlingske, The Guardian as wel;l as Hungarian investigative journalism NGO Átlátszó.hu.
According to Átlátszó.hu, the Budapest bank account belonged to an offshore company owned by the son of an influential Azeri politician. No information is available regarding how the aforementioned funds were used, while the offshore company has since been wound up, The Budapest Beacon reported.
According to Átlátszó.hu, during Orbán’s visit to the Azerbaijan capital Baku in June 2012 (right before the release of Safarov), he was greeted by then-First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Yaqub Eyyubov, father of Orkhan Ejjubov. The younger Ejjubov was reportedly the owner of Velasco International Inc.
It was the Budapest-based bank account of one of the companies in this constellation, Velasco International Inc., that received transfers from Metastar Invest LLP totaling more USD 7 million around the time of Safarov’s extradition to Azerbaijan
When asked about these reports at a press conference Wednesday, Hungary’s foreign minister Péter Szijjártó did not explicitly name what the scandal was about, and instead chose to refer to the “investigation by British and other news media”.
“In the firmest possible way, I reject any inference or insinuation which make a connection between the Hungarian foreign policy decisions and the aforementioned international criminal actions,” Szijjártó said. “I really hope we uncover the truth of what happened very soon.”