Protection of the European Communities' Financial Interests
Protection of the financial interests of the European Communities
Whenever the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Law on the amendment and supplement of Articles 6, 7 of the Law on the Financial Crime Investigation Service on 9 September 2003 the Financial Crime Investigation Service under the MoI (hereinafter – the Service) was entitled to disclose and investigate criminal acts related to the receipt and use of the European Union and foreign countries’ financial support funds, implementing preventive measures precluding the embezzlement and squander of the European Union and foreign countries’ financial support funds. However, already before the consolidation of this function in the Law the Service officers had already disclosed a lot of the criminal acts, through which there were attempts to receive illegally the funds from the pre-accession SAPARD and PHARE 2000 support programs.
After Lithuania became a member of the European Union, it was granted support funds from the European Union Structural Funds, initiatives of the European Communities, Cohesion Fund (ISPA programme), the Guarantee Section of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, other funds and financial instruments. Seeking to ensure the disclosure and investigation of criminal acts and other offences, related to receipt and use of the European Union and foreign countries’ financial support funds, on 1 March 2005 a new structural unit was established at the Service – the Illegal Use of Support Investigation Division.
Implementing tasks entrusted to the Service, 13 pre-trial investigations related to the illegal receipt and use of the European Union support funds were initiated, in the process of which the embezzlement of 8,18 million LTL and the illegally received funds were detected, the amount of which totals 1,4 million LTL.
For the anti-fraud efficiency great importance has the fact that the Service officers participate in the development of the risk management system of administration and control of the European Union support, it closely cooperates with the administrating institutions of the European Union financial support.