The municipal court of Budapest has handed prison sentences to 16 defendants in a non-biding ruling on charges of laundering cash from trafficking in Colombian drugs to the tune of billions of forints.
According to the ruling, the defendants brought large amounts of euros and dollars from the Netherlands and Spain by car, which they then deposited in bank accounts in Hungary and Slovakia. The money was later transferred to Chinese companies. The gang, run by a Vietnamese, laundered funds over 18 billion forints (EUR 49.7m) in 2013-2014, the court said. The ringleader was arrested and sentenced in the United States. The organisation also smuggled Serbian and Ukrainian tobacco products from Hungary to Slovenia, France, and the UK in the same period, handling over 787,000 packets. Charges were pressed against 36 people in late 2017. Sixteen defendants received prison sentences ranging between two and nine years, while six people were sentenced to suspended prison and three others were fined.