The European anti-fraud office aka OLAF succeeded in saving almost half a billion EUR of the EU budget in 2019. The office recommends returning the money after an inquiry into some 200 cases.
The frauds detected by the Office include corruption, smuggling, counterfeit and forgery as well as misconduct of public procurement procedures. "A great deal of fraud is done in the sphere of the EU's financing of non EU country projects," said Jana Capello, the OLAF spokesperson for public broadcaster RTVS. When compared to the previous year, the number of cases to be returned is slightly higher.
As Jana Capello informed, in the year 2019, OLAF concluded two investigations regarding EU funds in Slovakia.
Both cases were resolved with recommendations for the responsible state authorities. In 2018, there were 3 cases concluded with two recommendations issued, informed Jana Capello.
Regarding Slovakia, OLAF played a major role in detecting frauds related to allocating money for agriculture projects in eastern Slovakia. Local farmers informed about the misuse of EU funds in the form of tractor rides across Slovakia blocking the traffic. In 2019, the frauds involve counterfeiting material allocated to deal with coronavirus, e.g. face masks, respirators and test sets. The new office of the European Prosecutor should help in these efforts, resuming its operation by the end of 2020. Five prosecutors are to be located in Slovakia.