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Nov 03, 2016

Hungary is not harboring Saudi wanted by FBI

According to Hungarian authorities, there is “no one by the name of Ghaith Pharaon” residing in Hungary

Hungary has declared that it is not harboring a Saudi businessman wanted by the FBI, it has been reported today.

According to Hungarian authorities, there is “no one by the name of Ghaith Pharaon” residing in Hungary, an Interior Ministry official told the daily newspaper Magyar Idők.

If, however, “Pharaon enters Hungary’s territory and it turns out that he is the Saudi businessman who is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), he will be arrested immediately”, State Secretary Károly Kontrát insisted to the newspaper.

Kontrát denied claims that Pharaon had purchased a property in Hungary. However, press reports claim that Pharaon purchased a property opposite the house of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Buda.

He also said that Pharaon had “not purchased a residency bond but rather applied for a Hungarian visa".

Pharaon’s visa request was also entered into the Schengen visa information system, Kontrát said, adding that “no European Union member state had complained about his application”. 

The paper notes that Ghaith Pharaon has business interests in countries ranging from Georgia to Pakistan, MTI noted,

Magyar Idők also noted that in spite of the fact that Pharaon is wanted by the US, in 2008 the Pentagon signed a 120 million USD deal with a Pakistani-based company connected to the Saudi businessman to supply fuel to US military bases in Afghanistan.