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Fraud concerning EU funds: 10 searches in Romania with links to Cyprus, Portugal and Spain

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Ten locations in Bucharest, Ilfov and Giurgiu regions in Romania were searched today, 28 April 2022, at the request of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). The searches were conducted as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged fraud concerning European funds of more than €3 million, with links to Cyprus, Portugal and Spain.

It is suspected, in this case, that the beneficiary of a project financed by European funds illegally obtained the funds to the amount of €3 073 646.35 (14 440 459.60 RON, non-reimbursable funds) between September 2018 and January 2020, following the use of false and inaccurate documents and statements.

After unjustly obtaining the funds, the beneficiary is suspected of transferring them in order to conceal their illicit origin, and to hide the fraud. The fraud scheme had a cross-border dimension because the beneficiary used, through intermediaries, companies based in Spain, Portugal and Cyprus.

Following the completion of the searches, six persons will be led to the EPPO Bucharest Office to be informed of the accusations and to perform hearings. The EPPO is currently in the process of identifying money, goods and assets to be frozen to the value of the damages.

The searches are carried out with the support of the police officers from the support structure of the European Delegated Prosecutors within the National Anticorruption Directorate (Direcția Națională Anticorupție – DNA), police officers from the Bucharest Municipal Police (Directia Generala de Politie a Municipiului Bucuresti) and the officers from the Romanian Gendarmerie (Brigada Speciala de Interventie a Jandarmeriei Romane).

The European Delegated Prosecutor in Romania benefited from the support of European Delegated Prosecutors in Spain, Portugal and Cyprus, who performed investigative measures in their jurisdictions in the cooperation mechanism provided by the EPPO Regulation.