Funds allocated for sustainable EU projects are targeted by fraudsters

According to a study, it was observed that corruption and fraud in the funds allocated by the European Union to environmental and sustainable projects increased.

The European Union has allocated 1 trillion Euros for ‘green investments’ to be used in the coming years.

In its report published on Thursday, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) stated that 181 investigations were opened in 2019, according to which 485 million euros could be brought into the EU coffers.

It was reported that the investigations he completed included cross-border fraud schemes that negatively affected the EU’s environment, agriculture and regional development funds, as well as humanitarian organizations.

OLAF Director-General Ville Itälä stated that he has “observed a growing trend over the past few years in fraud targeting EU funds for environmental and sustainable projects”.

It is stated that the target of the scammers is the slice allocated from the 2021-2027 budget to heal the wounds caused by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Investigations by OLAF include cases investigating the counterfeiting and smuggling of products with the potential to harm the environment and health.

Investigations into the illegal import of biodiesel from the world market into the EU are also continuing.

EU aims to be the world’s first carbon-neutral region by 2050

The EU Commission aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral zone by 2050. The EU has allocated 1 trillion euros to the public and private sectors under the “Green Deal”.

OLAF announced that among its investigations is a “recognized non-governmental organization” that supports the EU’s humanitarian aid efforts in Syria. The non-governmental organization in question has received 19 million euros from EU funds through four separate grants in the last four years. OLAF found evidence of corruption by two former staff members who used a ‘complicated scam’ to lure money into their and their collaborators’ pockets. OLAF recommended that one and a half million euros be requested back, but it is stated that the people in question went missing.

On the other hand, it was revealed that all three Polish companies unfairly benefited from the EU’s funding for food, farming and rural development by faking invoices, inflating them and manipulating tender procedures.

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