PracticeAccounting FirmsOLAF to probe Palestinian funds scandal

OLAF to probe Palestinian funds scandal

The European Anti-fraud Office is to summon accountants from the European Commission and other officials to conduct an inquiry into allegations of misuse of European Union funds donated to the Palestinian Authority.

Link: Tax payments to Palestinians frozen

The OLAF probe will cover bookkeeping relating to charges made by members of the European Parliament that monthly payments of Euro 10m (about £6.4m) by the commission are being used to fund terrorist activities.

Earlier this month, over a hundred MEPs signed a petition calling for an official inquiry.

Although Chris Patten, European commissioner for external relations, initially opposed such an inquiry, he said yesterday that the OLAF investigation was ‘welcome’.

He added: ‘The commission has fully investigated repeated allegations that some of these budgetary payments may have been misused. No evidence to that effect has yet come to light. It is natural that OLAF should itself choose to investigate these allegations, in line with its policy of zero-tolerance – and we welcome that decision.’

In a letter to the parliament, Patten said the payments had been made since November 2000 with the full backing of the EU Member States and the European Parliament following the decision of the Israeli government to withhold monies owed to the Palestinians.

‘The European Commission will never accept EU funds being diverted into the hands of terrorists,’ he said. Claims that the commission continuously refused to investigate misuse allegations ‘cannot be further from the truth’.

OLAF declined to say how and where its inquiry would be conducted, nor when it would be completed.

Related Articles

Sexual harassment – is accountancy next for #MeToo?

Accounting Firms Sexual harassment – is accountancy next for #MeToo?

3h Karen Baxter, Lewis Silkin
Johnston Carmichael CEO appointed as ICAS president

Accounting Firms Johnston Carmichael CEO appointed as ICAS president

3w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
British Accountancy Awards 2018 – entries open!

Accounting Firms British Accountancy Awards 2018 – entries open!

1m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Is the accountancy sector facing an international talent crisis?

Accounting Firms Is the accountancy sector facing an international talent crisis?

1m Lewis Silkin
RSM appoints new Chief Operating Officer

Accounting Firms RSM appoints new Chief Operating Officer

1m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
RSM announces 11 partner promotions

Accounting Firms RSM announces 11 partner promotions

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
BDO hires former AstraZeneca creative director as head of digital and innovation

Accounting Firms BDO hires former AstraZeneca creative director as head of digital and innovation

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
What does the future hold for listed accountancy firms?

Accounting Firms What does the future hold for listed accountancy firms?

2m Fergus Payne, Lewis Silkin