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OLAF suspects embezzlement of anti-corruption funds

The European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) announced that it suspects Hungarian inspectors illegally misused European Union funds that were awarded to a Hungarian government agency to fight corruption, Hungarian online daily hvg.hu reported yesterday.

During its four-year-long investigation, OLAF said, the office found fraudulent invoices and cash payments at a consultant subcontracting for the former national development agency NFÜ, hvg.hu reported. OLAF said the money that was allegedly mishandled was provided by the EU for monitoring whether public procurement processes were undertaken in a legal manner. According to OLAF, the case may involve top Hungarian officials responsible for handling EU funds.

OLAF recommended a 100% correction for the shortcomings it found, which would mean that HUF 2.4 billion funding needs to be repaid, according to hvg.hu.

The online daily noted that OLAF has no authority to make steps in member states, it can only inform authorities in charge, who decide to launch a procedure or not. Budapest’s main prosecutor Péter Polt said he is aware of OLAFʼs investigation.