OLAF Recommended Recovery of €19.5 Million Fraudulently Acquiried in Water Projects
In November 2022, OLAF concluded investigations into fraud and irregularities in relation to several water infrastructure and wastewater modernisation projects. Two cases played in Bulgaria, one in Romania, and one in Hungary. In total, OLAF recommended the recovery of over €19.5 million. Fraud patterns included the following:
- Plant that was constructed but never started operating;
- False documents submitted in public tender procedures;
- Use of unchanged and ineffective treatment technology;
- Implementation of the project by substandard work.
OLAF pointed out that the EU funded projects were meant to supply clean water and protect citizens and the environment from contamination, but instead some projects led to dangers for health and the environment.