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Brussels declares "zero tolerance" for corruption and asks the European anti-fraud agency to investigate the 'Koldo case'

BRUSELAS, 27 Feb.

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Brussels declares "zero tolerance" for corruption and asks the European anti-fraud agency to investigate the 'Koldo case'

BRUSELAS, 27 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) -

The European Commission applies "zero tolerance" against corruption, which is why it has asked the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) to investigate whether the alleged collection of illegal commissions on the purchase of masks during the pandemic for which Koldo García was arrested -- former advisor to José Luis Ábalos when he was minister-- could have affected European Union funds.

"The European Commission will take all necessary measures to protect the budget of the European Union and has zero tolerance for fraud," a community spokesperson assured Europa Press, when questioned about the case and its impact on the community coffers.

Community services are in "close contact" with the national authorities responsible for the management of European funds, in this case the Ministry of Finance, to determine if there is community money "involved."

For this reason, the spokesperson added, Brussels is following the matter "very closely" and has sent the details of the 'Koldo case' to OLAF to ask it to continue "investigating."

Precisely this Tuesday it was learned that the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office sent to the European Prosecutor's Office (EPPO, for its acronym in English) contracts of the so-called 'Koldo case' signed with the autonomous governments of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands for a joint amount of 15.3 million euros. understanding that they were paid with European funds and that, therefore, they are the responsibility of the community body.

According to the complaint filed by Anti-Corruption, to which Europa Press has had access, the Spanish Public Ministry sent documentation to EPPO on June 8, 2023 through a decree "as it affected European Union funds."

Sources close to the investigation confirm to this news agency that the contracts in question would be several signed with the autonomous communities then chaired by Francina Armengol and Ángel Víctor Torres.

When asked by Europa Press, the European Public Prosecutor's Office has avoided confirming whether it is investigating the case since this body "does not comment on ongoing investigations nor publicly confirms which cases it is working on so as not to put any ongoing investigations at risk."

However, the same sources recall that the competence of the EPPO is "mandatory" since it must "verify any indication that may eventually result in" the facts being investigated falling "under its scope of jurisdiction."