The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) concluded 11 investigations on EU fund embezzlement files in Romania of its total 100 cases finalized last year, according to the 2019 OLAF report.
Romania is followed by Italy, with nine cases, and three countries with seven investigations: Greece, Poland, and Bulgaria.
OLAF recommended the recovery of EUR 485 million to the EU budget in all of its finalized cases last year. There is no breakdown by country for the money to be recovered, but a high-size case hosted by Romania suggests the country could lead in this ranking as well.
One particularly complex cross-border investigation focused on a project based in Romania. Working alongside the Romanian National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), OLAF uncovered a network of fraud and money-laundering activities linked to an EU-funded water supply and wastewater infrastructure project. The project, worth EUR 102 mln, was contracted by a local public water supply company.
Romania also features in several chapters regarding EU fund embezzlement: aquaculture farms in areas where there is no water, EU funds for preventing forest fires, or funds for wastewater management.
(Photo source: Marian Vejcik/Dreamstime.com)