WorldPress.org reports that, "Currently Budapest hosts the global epicenters of illegal pornographic material, contraband cigarettes and is also a meeting point and negotiation center between the heads of international crime groups in the sectors of arms, women and drug trafficking. Money laundering is also another thriving illegal industry, closely associated with the above."
Hungary has the unique geo-economic advantage of occupying the middle of Europe in the midst of the important axis of the Danube as well as the Baltic-Aegean axis. As an effect, crime syndicates were apt in using this country as a major transit ground for their pan-European operations and as a base for coordinating their cells in other regions.
The local criminal networks in Hungary and Budapest in particular are formed by former members of security forces and pre-existing black marketers who maintained contacts with the local authorities. The rapid development of the networks gained control of up to 20 percent of local GDP, due to a number of endogenous and exogenous factors.
The Hungarian Security Council, a government agency providing guidelines and action against crime in the country, has noted disturbing trends for the foreseeable future. Reports of the local police found that the number of criminal organizations has increased considerably since 2007.
Also, it is estimated that construction companies and business groups involved in public procurement are now subject to the control of organized crime, and groups coming from China and Latin America have managed to establish their presence there, in order to increase their positions in Western Europe via Budapest.
Furthermore, the Hungarian Intelligence Service (NBH) in 2008 reported that, after the accession to the European Union in 2004, a great increase was witnessed in the turnover of the organized crime groups, which became more flexible and multifaceted, effectively penetrating more legitimate businesses."
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