Days after three journalists were arrested in Greece following a report that Athens’ Defence Minister Panos Kammenos had misused EU migration funds, Brussels has confirmed that the European Anti-Fraud Agency (OLAF), is looking into the case after the discovery of what they deemed were “certain irregularities from the Ministry of Defence with a food contractor.”
Both the EU executive and OLAF have refused to comment further on the matter, with the Berlaymont opting to refrain from making a statement regarding the mishandling of funds until the ongoing investigation gathers more evidence.
OLAF had already opened a case into the Greek defence ministry’s use of EU funds prior to the arrest of the three journalists from the Greek-language daily Fileleftheros.
A source from the Commission said the case involving the Greek defence ministry was the only known example of irregularities that the EU executive found during its annual audits that are carried out in October.
Two cases sent to OLAF according to report
Last year’s report was published by DG HOME – which is responsible for carrying out migration and asylum issues, as well as border and security policy for the Commission – published on April 30 a report outlining as the development and implementation of its own anti-fraud strategy, based on the methodology provided by OLAF.
According to the annual report, two fraud cases tied to certain irregularities were handed over to OLAF for analysis, while DG HOME continued to provide information and assist the investigation.
New Europe could not confirm whether the Commission has submitted information to OLAF regarding the investigation since the end of March, leaving open the question about whether Brussels will find more irregularities within the next audits during the upcoming economic year.