Press Release OLAF/17/2003, 17 June 2003

According to press reports, a former U.N. Official in Kosovo was yesterday sentenced in Germany to 3.5 years in prison for the embezzlement of 4.3 million US dollars (€3.9 million). This followed an investigation carried out by the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) in co-operation with UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) in New York and judicial authorities in Germany and Gibraltar. J. T., 37, was convicted by the court in Bochum of having stolen funds due to the KEK (Kosovo Electricity Company) and transferring the money to personal company bank accounts in Gibraltar.

At the end of April 2002, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) referred a case of suspected fraud to OLAF. On the basis of information received, OLAF decided to open an external investigation in conformity with Art. 5 § 1 of Regulation (EC) No. 1073/1999 (see Press Release OLAF/04/2002All available translations., of 30 April 2002.

Following initial enquiries in Kosovo it was established that the funds in question had been remitted to a bank in Gibraltar. A further attempt to send the funds from Gibraltar to Belize was thwarted. The Attorney General of Gibraltar on the application of OLAF was able to obtain in the Supreme Court an order freezing the relevant bank accounts. In August 2002 OLAF was able to secure the return to the Kosovo budget of $US3.2 million and subsequently the Office caused proceedings to be launched to secure the return of the balance and to gain access to the bank account records. In December 2002 Mr T. presented himself to judicial authorities in Germany and was arrested see Press Release OLAF/16/2002All available translations., of 5 December 2002.

On completion of its investigation, OLAF transferred all the information and documents about the suspected fraud it had gathered to the German judicial authorities. During the course of this inquiry OLAF worked in close co-operation with judicial authorities in Germany and Gibraltar. The Office also liased with the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) in New York, UNMIK in Kosovo and Government authorities in Serbia.

Mr Alessandro Butticé
Spokesman of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF)
Fax : +32 (0)2 299.8101

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