One Year in Action: EPPO Requests Increase of Fraud Detection
On 1 June 2022, the EPPO presented updated figures on its operations since the official operational start one year ago:
- 4006 crime reports registered and analysed;
- 929 investigations opened;
- 28 indictments filed;
- 4 convictions handed down;
- €259 million of freezing orders granted;
- 35 EDP offices in 22 countries working together.
The EPPO highlighted that the body have brought about tangible improvements. The biggest advantage is the quick access to case information in the participating countries which enables the establishment of connections and the detection of assets that could otherwise not be identified. This is especially true since investigations often involve several countries. In this context, effective cross-border cooperation under the mechanism of the EPPO Regulation is another key added value of the Office.
On the occasion of its first anniversary, the EPPO also pointed out, however, that the low level of detection of EU fraud remains a key challenge. Therefore, the European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi proposed the creation of an elite corps of highly qualified financial fraud investigators, who would be able to work transnationally within the EPPO.
The EPPO already provided a comprehensive overview of its operational activities in its annual report published in March 2022 (→ eucrim 1/2022, 15-16). However, the report only covered the first seven months of actions (1 June – 31 December 2021).