Anti-fraud efforts impress OLAF

Link: OLAF to probe Palestinian funds scandal

In a memorandum on the fight against fraud in an enlarged EU, OLAF said: ‘By putting Anti Fraud Co-ordinating Service offices in place, the candidate countries have demonstrated in concrete terms their commitment to fighting fraud.

‘Once these structures are fully operational, the candidate countries should be capable of fighting against irregularities and fraud against the financial interests of the European Union with the same rigidity and effectiveness as they use to protect their own budget.’

At present, OLAF is already investigating 156 cases involving the alleged misuse of EU funds and abuse of taxation systems involving these countries, focusing on EU aid (70 cases), customs (29 cases) and cigarette smuggling cases (27 cases).

In recent weeks OLAF director general Franz-Hermann Brner has visited Romania and Poland to further reinforce co-operation between his organisation and their governments on fighting fraud.

It was, said the note, an example of an oncoming programme of training, seminars and cooperation on specific cases between OLAF and these applicant countries, which include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus and Turkey.

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