It turns out that many – including people working at Germany’s biggest banks and energy firms, have been involved in carbon emissions credit VAT fraud.
Europol has estimated that in some countries, up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities.
This is obviously worrying. The Commission says that the newly introduced reverse charges will change the game. It is very important indeed to curb speculation, since the whole emission trading scheme can be seriously compromised if sufficient control mechanisms are not introduced right away.
EUobserver reports that both the European Commission and the German financial regulator BaFin are following closely the investigation of the US investment bank Goldman Sachs (see the detailed legal analysis by Bill Singer).
UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also demanded investigation of the possible fraudulent activities of Goldman Sachs.
It is worth reminding that Goldman Sachs was also involved in providing help to the Greek government in order to hide an additional 1 billion US dollars in debt by currency swaps.
The European Commission has presented a progress report on the implementation of its action plan to strengthen the shared management of the EU structural and cohesion funds.
The report summarizes common errors in the management of EU funds on national level:
- contracts awarded without following the correct tender procedure;
- inadequate documentation to support expenditure (lack of audit trail);
- inaccurate calculation of overheads;
- application of incorrect co-financing rate;
- overestimated payment claims.
Franz-Hermann Brüner, director general of OLAF, said during the presentation of the annual report of the anti-fraud office that “Some criminals are still dancing around us and the Bulgarian government, and I don’t like it.”
According to him, Bulgarian courts are the weakest link in the judiciary. He believes that political pressure on the judiciary system must be relieved.