Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s brother is ready to teach police and soldiers about marksmanship in his new combat academy
Áron Orbán took his penchant for weapons and founded the Hungarian Academy of Martial Arts. Now, Prime Minister Victor Orbán’s brother has had a vision – a shooting range in a Nógrád village, where his academy will teach marksmanship to law enforcement and defence forces.
Nógrád County village Szécsénke, population 200, is known for its Roman Catholic temple, an annual ratatouille festival, and not much else. But construction was bustling – in relative terms – on the village outskirts when we drove through in April.
In one forested area, we found piles of tyres, dirt, and wood logs – the nascent stages of a shooting range, envisioned by Áron Orbán, where Hungarian police and soldiers will perfect the art of shooting.
Áron Orbán’s links to the Szécsénke shooting range have been known for a while now. For one, the forty-six-year-old owns the property. He is also the CEO of Multi Shoot Zrt, who is currently developing the website for the shooting range complex.
A branch of the Hungarian Academy of Martial Arts – an NGO that is not to be confused with any official defence force – is also registered here. In the NGO’s original statutes, which date back to the year before last, the Orbáns predicted that Hungarian police officers and soldiers would learn to shoot with the organization.
The Szécsénke residents we spoke to had all heard about the shooting range. In fact, it appears that Áron Orbán is a frequent visitor, because the locals showed us where he parks his car by the mayor’s office when he has business in the village.
We tried to reach out to Áron Orbán and Boglárka Hevér, the mayor of Szécsénke, to ask about the shooting range, but we received no replies. We could not find the Prime Minister’s brother during our Szécsénke trip, or at a gun shop in Dunakeszi that also bears his name. The mayor was also out of town during our visit.
Lawyers and shopkeepers – or undercover marksmanship experts?
Áron Orbán trademarked the Hungarian Academy of Martial Arts in 2018. By the year before last, the association was registered and by 2022, the Szécsénke property was registered as a branch. Orbán has been the president of the association since its foundation, bar a six-month interlude when close relation and fellow Dunakeszi gun shop owner József Bóka took over briefly.
The 2021 statutes outlined that the academy would be tasked with maintaining shooting ranges and teaching marksmanship. The statutes also stated that, should there be any requests, the academy is prepared to train law enforcement and defence forces at both the junior and professional levels.
For one, the statutes claim that the association’s members engage in marksmanship at the professional and amateur levels, but as far as Átlátszó is aware, the association’s founders barely numbered the required ten, and this paltry team of merry men includes one close combat trainer with a military background, who is joined by Orbán, Bóka, several employees of the company running the gun shop in Dunakeszi, and three lawyers from the Újváry and Partners law firm.
The Ministry of the Interior told us that Áron Orbán’s academy has yet to receive any requests from law enforcement agencies under their control. The Ministry of Defence did not respond.
Weapons, weapons, and more weapons
This isn’t the first time that Áron Orbán expressed his keen interest in armed training. In one of Sándor Balogh’s testimonies unearthed by HVG, the former economic director of the Budapest FINA World Aquatics Championships said that he regularly met with Orbán and a third party between 2014 and 2015. “There was talk of organizing training for various law enforcement and other armed forces in African countries,” HVG quoted Balogh’s testimony.
In a 2020 report on the Orbán family wealth, Partizán noted: “Áron Orbán gives the impression of a zealous gun enthusiast on Facebook, with public posts advocating for, among other things, the right to bear arms, and promoting the products offered by a Global Arms Hungary gun shop.”
According to Partizán, Global Arms Hungary was backed by Specops Kft, which, through its owner Multi Shoot Zrt, belonged to gynaecologist supreme Nándor Tűzkő – who has since been appointed to the supervisory boards of several nationalised fertility centres. It is uncertain whether his rapid social ascent was powered by his genius in the field of gynaecology, because the contracts for the clinic acquisitions have been officially classified.
Over this time, Áron Orbán founded businesses abroad: the Circles of Angels and Devils d.o.o. in Croatia and the Angels Circle s.r.o in Slovakia. In early 2020, he was also poised to take over the majority ownership of Multi Shoot from Tűzkőt through the Croatian company, but the deal fell through. Purpose ties the companies together; they all want to deal in weapons.
Last year, Direkt36 mapped out Áron Orbán’s current business affairs. Following the article, the Prime Minister’s brother was quick to delete his past Facebook posts and buy Specops Kft. In-keeping with the supernatural theme, he renamed the company Circle of Devils Kft.
He also replaced József Bóka as the CEO of Multi Shoot. Bóka was previously a partner in the company Innosped Kft, while he had also held a management position at Innoterv Zrt – the only major Hungarian ammunition factory in the early 2000s.
Recently, both the Global Arms Hungary brand name and its web address have ended up with Dunakeszi gun shop Multi Shoot. Many founders of Orbán’s academy are employees of this store, and the academy itself is registered to the shop’s address. The academy and Multi Shoot have also registered the new Szécsénke shooting range site – and their talents apparently know no limits, because they are now working on the complex’s website, as well.
Áron Orbán has many irons in the fire. He and Multi Shoot go a long way back – the company’s 2020 price list boasts a logo that is almost identical to Orbán’s 2017 trademarked logo. And shortly after the Direkt36 article, Orbán’s left the board of Norbi Update Zrt. despite being appointed less than six months earlier to focus instead on his three angel-and-devil companies. He filed European trademark applications for the three companies’ names and logos, which he says will all be used for weapons-related business. The Croatian subsidiary will also continue to distribute Norbi Update products.
The Csáktornya-registered Croatian company’s managing director, according to one website, is a Hungarian-speaking tour guide. We reached out to Ivona Végh about her role – but upon mention of the company, she hung up due to unexpected connectivity problems.
Would you like some guns with your coffee?
Despite his apparent enthusiasm, Orbán’s gun ventures abroad are underperforming. His Croatian company registered a nine-million-forint loss in 2021, and the Slovakian a six-million-forint loss.
The domestic Multi Shoot boasts annual sales in the hundreds of millions and solid profits – which makes it a minor player in the international arms trade. The company’s brochures advertise weapons like the Hungarian-developed and manufactured Gepárd M6 Hiúz destroyer rifle – purchased recently by the United Kingdom Special Forces, apparently. Other products are near-identical to the listings of MSM Group a.s. – a Slovakian weapons manufacturer based in the Czech Republic. Their export sales division alone had a turnover in 2021 that is roughly 100 times that of Multi Shoot.
Despite the cold hard facts, Multi Shoot maintains global ambitions. In one brochure, the company outlined its goal of becoming a recognized international player within ten years.
While they work on their ascent to the zenith of the global arms industry, the store continues to dabble with other projects – like the recently launched Multinagyker website, which sells various food products.
Áron Orbán, hip and happening, jumped onto the flavoured coffee capsule craze with his Wolf Coffee brand. His wolf logo – designed with weapons in mind – stands out as slightly odd on the latte macchiato boxes.
Áron Orbán may be struggling, but his entrepreneurial spirit roams free and he basks in pushing the envelope. Last year, for example, we reported suspicions that the Prime Minister’s various relations, including Áron, were rumored to be involved with a general contractor who won several tenders and failed to pay his subcontractors for numerous projects.
“I’m being squeezed like a cigarette butt” – Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s kinship blamed by bankrupt subcontractors – English
Failed public projects, unpaid subcontractors, bankrupt companies – we have uncovered a case of suspected corruption involving half the country.
Translated by Vanda Mayer. The original, Hungarian version of this story was written by Márton Sarkadi Nagy and can be found here. Cover photo: Áron Orbán / Facebook