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Fraudulent use of 3 million euro destined to help development in poorer countries

The European Anti-fraud, the NAC, the nuclei of the Carabinieri police fraud for agricultural and food policies have identified those responsible for a multifaceted and complex fraud in the system of European Union aids to developing countries.

Within the framework of international cooperation activities developed with Olaf, the European Anti-fraud Office, the NAC, the Nuclei of the Carabinieri police fraud for agricultural and food policies have identified those responsible for a multifaceted and complex fraud against the Union European system of aids to developing countries.
In particular, the investigation of the NAC in Rome, which has also enlisted the assistance of the Customs Offices and of the Nas of Alexandria, began by examining the activities -from 2003 to 2007- a broker service in Rome working in international competitions of the European Union for the procurement of equipment for industrial plants, hospitals and agricultural aid for the countries in the developing world.
During the investigation, coordinated by the deputy public prosecutor of Rome Dr. Fava, bribery was ascertained of officials of the Nigerian National Planning Commission responsible for the checks, but also fraudulent conduct of the two main suspects, a Roman businessman and a trader of Venezuelan origin, who faked the documents of origin of articles for medical and health aid destined to developing countries by replacing the words "Made in China" and "Made in Pakistan" with other declarations of European origin as requested by the call for tender.
The damage to the European Union was estimated at about € 3 million of funding improperly paid to the company. The fraud involved providing electrical generators and medical products (pressure gauges, devices for clinical analysis, electronic scales, ect.) intended for medical facilities and hospitals in Nigeria. The investigative activity closed with the arrest of the two main suspects and the invitiation to the Court of Auditors to further investigate.
The strengthening of the cooperation of the police anti-fraud Nuclei with Olaf is one of the priorities which the Carabinieri agricultural and food policies has long sought to achieve by strengthening international co-operation in fighting fraud community. A specific program of action was in fact the subject of a recent meeting between the new director of OLAF, the Italian magistrate Giovanni Kessler, and the agricultural and food policies Carabinieri commander, Colonel Maurizio Delli Santi. In 2010 alone, thanks to the cooperation with OLAF, the NAC were able to intercept more than 17 million € of EU funding which would have been otherwise unlawfully allocated to economic entities possesing false documentation on activities and operations non existing, these attempted to defraud the European Union, severely damaging the other operators who work in the agricultural sector following the rules.

Source: Agricoltura italiana on line

by S. C.
19 may 2011, World News > Italy

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