Austria scandal: Mystery of the honey-trap video

By Bethany Bell
BBC News, Vienna
24 May 2019

The video, from, 2017, was recorded in a villa in Ibiza

It was a warm, summer night at a luxury villa in Ibiza.

For dinner, there was sea bass carpaccio and tuna tartare, with champagne, vodka and lots of Red Bull, one of the favourite drinks of far-right Austrian politician Heinz-Christian Strache.

He had come to the villa to meet an elegant woman in a black designer dress and high heels, who said she was Alyona Makarova, the wealthy niece of the Russian oligarch Igor Makarov.

Mr Strache was excited, not just because of the woman, whom he described as “hot”, but also because of her apparent proposals of support for his far-right Freedom party, in return for shady deals.

But Mr Makarov doesn’t have a niece.

The whole evening in July 2017, complete with the Mercedes Maybach and BMW M4 sports car, was an elaborate trap, which Mr Strache fell for, hook, line and sinker.

It was all secretly filmed, in what seems to have been an elaborately prepared and well-funded sting operation.

Last week it was published by two German newspapers, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel.


Who was behind the video sting?

The departure of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s far-right ministers prompted the collapse of his coalition government

In Austria, there is much speculation, but no concrete answers.

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