EPPO: First Major Corruption Case Investigated
On 16 July 2021, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) informed that it started a criminal investigation against four Croatian citizens being allegedly involved in a corruption scheme. It is presumed that the mayor of a Croatian city received bribes from a company manager in return for the manipulation of a procurement procedure in order to secure the assignment of a project, co-financed by the EU Cohesion Fund. The total amount of the EU funding was around €562,000. The third and the fourth defendants are suspected of having adjusted the technical requirements of the tender and ensuring that the company under suspicion was awarded the contract for the project. It is estimated that the Croatian city was damaged for no less than around €12,000 and the EU Cohesion Fund was damaged for no less than around €57,000. The EPPO started the investigations on the basis of a report from the Croatian National Police Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime.