POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - POLITICS

Frauds

EU prosecutors seize €215,000 of misused EU funds



The EU’s new organisation acts with local law enforcements to investigate cases of suspected financial crimes. The EPPO had already seized over €23m at the beginning of November in a tax evasion case.  Photo: Shutterstock

The EU’s new organisation acts with local law enforcements to investigate cases of suspected financial crimes. The EPPO had already seized over €23m at the beginning of November in a tax evasion case.  Photo: Shutterstock

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) seized €215,000 in Italy on 18 November, with the help of the Guardia di Finanza—the Italian financial police—after suspicions of European Structural funds being misused reached it.

The funds had been granted to a tourism promoter in the province of Bari, in Italy, who was meant to use the funds to restructure a farmhouse and hotel. However, the suspect arrested by the Guardia instead used the funds issued from the EU programme for rural development to increase the market of the farmhouse and sel lit at higher value lateron.

The EPPO, which was launched in June 2021 and has its headquarters in Luxembourg, is “responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the EU.”

Following this, it seized ten properties and bank holdings owned by the suspect.

At the beginning of November, the EPPO had seized over €23m in a tax evasion crackdown in Czechia, Romania and Slovakia. At the same time, it had investigated six entrepreneurs in Italy who had misspent €900,000 on pleasure boats.