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September 24, 2021

Anti-corruption prosecutors conduct searches in EU fund fraud case

Prosecutors with the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA) yesterday conducted several searches in Bucharest and a few other counties, at the Ministry of European Funds, AM-POSDRU, AM-POSCCE and the Agency for Regional Development West (ADR West), in connection with a suspected fraud involving European funds and forgery allegedly committed between 2007 and 2013.

The prosecutors searched a total of 23 addresses in Bucharest and the Counties of Ilfov, Timis, Caras-Severin and Teleorman, four of which targeting the headquarters of public institutions and the rest concerning companies and private addresses, DNA notes.

The four institutions searched yesterday were the Ministry of European Funds, the Management Authority for the Development of Human Resources Operational Sector Programme (AM-POSDRU), the Management Authority for the Improvement of Economic Competitiveness Operational Sector Programme (AM-POSCCE) and Agency for Regional Development (ADR) West in Timisoara.

The management of ADR West say the DNA prosecutors, after searching the offices of the institution Monday morning, took documents submitted by beneficiaries as part of their applications for European funding within four projects run in the framework of the Operational Programme for the Sector of Improvement of Economic Competitiveness 2007-2013. According to Mediafax, the institution made available to DNA several documents. ‘The DNA prosecutors checked documents regarding four Economic Competitiveness Improvement projects took over from the former Ministry of Economy which are now being managed by the Ministry of European Funds. There are three contracts and a back-up one. Of the three projects, one has been proposed for termination and one has been cleared for payment. The searches did not target our institution, but those particular projects. The prosecutors took documents’, ADR West Director Sorin Maxim said.


Eugen Teodorovici: ‘No one is above the law, who makes mistakes must pay’


The Minister of European Funds, Eugen Teodorovici (photo), said he would wait to see what projects were under scrutiny and that the latest checks by the prosecutors had been in connection with false documents submitted on file by European funding applicants.

‘The latest DNA check concerning such projects were about false documents submitted by EU funds applicants, especially regarding the quality side, false documents they would bring to the authorities managing the European funds in order to obtain EU-financed projects. In the end it was proven that they did not qualify, the applications were rejected, but they used false instruments for applying. Then it was that case. About what happens today I cannot tell you much because I don’t know yet which projects and cases are being checked. They bring false documents as they know they cannot owe money to the state when applying for European funds and probably in this way they are trying to cheat the European structures and obtain the funds’, Minister Teodorovici said.

The official noted that if any Ministry employees were charged they would be suspended according to the existing procedure. ‘No one is above the law, who makes mistakes must pay. The situation of the European funds is very clear’, Teodorovici added.

One of the most important currency exchange companies in Timisoara and a local hotel, both having the same owner, were also searched in the case.


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