OLAF’s Work in Times of Crisis
On 7 April 2020, OLAF informed the public that it is still fully operational and committed to fighting fraud despite the restrictions set up by the Belgian authorities during the Coronavirus crisis. The press release provides some statistical data on OLAF's case work since 16 March 2020. OLAF has also developed specific rules on conducting interviews in times when travelling is not recommended. It points out that the COVID-19 pandemic offers new opportunities for fraudsters to take advantage of the increased demand for medical supplies, personal protection, and hygiene products. In this context, OLAF refers to its successful investigation against fake COVID-19 related products (see separate news item). OLAF investigators and analysts have quickly adapted to the extraordinary situation thanks to secure remote access to OLAF’s IT systems and other working tools.