District official takes bribes for housing

An official and a network of associates have been exposed for having accepted bribes for the helping with the allocation of municipally-owned rental property. The investigation has so far identified 30 instances when money exchanged hands.

Police are currently investigating a group of people including an official at the municipality of the Ujpest district in Budapest for accepting bribes. The scheme involved taking payouts through middlemen from prospective renters of flats that are owned by the district. The various cases would then be assisted by an inside person, with everyone in the ring getting a cut.

The reason the buyers considered this option is that being approved a lease put them in a favorable position if they wanted to buy the property later on.

Police have arrested four people so far, but the investigation records state that more may have been involved. We know of 30 cases when money was accepted but only 11 when the lease application was actually approved. We have learnt that the municipality has now added new control mechanisms to its issuance policy.

Original article in Hungarian

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