Ghaith Pharaon sought Hungarian citizenship in 2016

An official document shows that Saudi billionaire Ghaith Pharaon officially requested Hungarian citizenship in February 2016, writes Index. However, the Office of Immigration and Citizenship (BÁH) stated that it had no record of this request in its files.

Pharaon, who was wanted by the American FBI for 25 years for suspicion of financing terrorism and money laundering, gained notoriety when he purchased the land and villa opposite Prime Minister Orbán’s own house in October 2016.

Index notes that Pharaon may have even been granted Hungarian citizenship, although Interior Minister Sándor Pintér declined to discuss the issue further to independent Parliamentary representative Márta Demeter, as Pharaon died in January of this year.

Government official: there is no person named Ghaith Pharaon in Hungary

Károly Kontrát, Parliamentary State Secretary for the Interior Ministry, claims in an article in Magyar Idők that there is no one named Ghaith Pharaon living in Hungary, and that he has not bought real estate here.

“If there is a Ghaith Pharaon who is the same person that is on the American authorities’ most wanted list and this person steps on Hungarian soil, we will catch him immediately,” Kontrát said.

As previously reported, a company linked to Saudi businessman Ghaith Pharoan, who is wanted in the United States, recently bought a piece of property next to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s residence. (via HVG)

DK contacting the FBI about Pharaon

The Demokratikus Koalíció (DK) party is contacting Interpol and the FBI about the claim that the Hungarian Prime Minister’s family is doing business with Ghaith Pharaon, who is allegedly on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.

László Varju, the party’s deputy chair, held a press conference on Sunday in Budapest about Pharaon’s high-value real estate dealings with a family member of PM Viktor Orbán, and that he most recently he purchased a piece of property opposite Orbán’s home, according to MTI.

Varju stated that Pharaon had previously done business with Osama bin Laden, and stressed that “since the government is doing business with internationally-known criminals,” DK would do all it could to protect the county. This was why, he said, the party was contacting Interpol, the FBI, and Hungarian authorities.