OLAF publishes its annual operational report
Investigations resulted in €68 million recovered and fraudsters sentenced to 125 years' imprisonment in 2010
The Annual Report of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) that is published today gives a summary of OLAF's achievements in 2010. Concrete case studies present OLAF's work in detail. OLAF handled around 500 cases in 2010, which included complex external investigations, sensitive internal investigations and multinational cases where OLAF assumed the role of coordinator.
“It is with great pleasure that I present the positive results of our work in 2010. In the current economic climate, it is more important than ever that we make sure EU funds are used for their proper purposes and reach the intended beneficiaries. We, OLAF and other Commission Services, will keep up the high pace in fighting fraud in the Member States, and maintain zero tolerance towards corruption in the EU institutions. I call on the Member States to step up their efforts. It is essential that they cooperate and take swift and decisive action to recover misused EU money and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Giovanni Kessler, Director-General of OLAF.
Summary of operational activities in 2010
- 225 new investigative and operational cases were opened: 150 internal and external investigations and 75 coordination and assistance cases. 189 investigative and operational cases were closed during the year.
- The average total duration of investigations and operations, including the assessment phase, was 27.9 months, a five-year low.
- OLAF received 46% of its incoming information from the public sector at EU and Member State level. 52% came from citizens and the private sector.
- €67.9 million was recovered as a result of OLAF’s cases. The highest amounts were recovered in the structural funds sector (€32.9 million), followed by agriculture (€11.9 million) and direct expenditure (€10.6 million).
- A further €351.2 million has also been recovered to date in respect of financial follow-up cases which are still ongoing.
National courts sentenced fraudsters to a cumulative 125 years' imprisonment during 2010 and imposed financial penalties amounting to nearly € 1.47 billion as a result of OLAF's cases.
The full report can be downloaded from OLAF's website.