Eight of the 576 cases or 1.4% of them are related to Croatia.
The EPPO is an independent body of the European Union responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the EU, including fraud corruption, money laundering and cross-border VAT fraud.
Currently, 22 member-states of the European Union, including Croatia, are participating members of the EPPO.
“EU institutions and bodies, as well as the competent authorities of the 22 member states which joined the EPPO, must report any criminal conduct affecting the EU budget to the EPPO. Individuals can also report alleged cases of fraud and other crimes,” it was reported on the EPPO website.
According to the estimated damage in the opened cases, Italy with cases accounting for aggregate damage of €1.7 billion tops the ranking.
Romania ranks second (€1.3 billion), and Croatia ranks 15th with estimated damage totalling €30.6 million.
Considering the number of opened cases, Italy is again on the top of the ranking, with 120 cases.
Bulgaria follows with 105 cases, and Romania ranks third (60 cases). Croatia and Latvia share the 13th position.
With regard to the suspects implicated in these cases, former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is the highest-profile suspect for now who is believed to have been engaged in misusing EU funds.
In Croatia, a former minister of EU Finds and Regional Development, Gabrijela Žalac, is the best-known indictee covered by EPPO probes. The investigation was launched by the EPPO following a criminal report filed by the National Police Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime. Žalac, former Central Finance and Contracting Agency (SAFU) director Tomislav Petric and IT company owners Mladen Šimunac and Marko Jukić, are suspected of defrauding the European Union and Croatia of €1.8 million. Žalac is suspected of fixing the public procurement of an information system for strategic planning and development management for the companies owned by Šimunac and Jukić.
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