Was there a hidden strategy in play behind Hungarian PM’s election victory?

One day in mid-January, Balázs Dénes, the Hungarian executive director of a Berlin-based NGO, travelled to Amsterdam to meet Ali Mahmoud Alrabie, from a Bahraini company called Orion Ventures Capital. Alrabie’s fund was interested in supporting projects that helped refugees, he said, and paid for Dénes to fly to Amsterdam to discuss potential collaboration. Alrabie was a friendly, jovial interlocutor and was keen to hear all about Dénes’s NGO, Civil Liberties Union for Europe.

Dénes tried to follow up the meeting with requests for more information. But Alrabie did not respond. Soon after, the website of Orion Ventures Capital, which described the fund as a “leading boutique investment firm based in Bahrain”, stopped working. The company, apparently, does not exist, and Alrabie is almost certainly an invented persona.

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