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Bulgaria: European Prosecutor’s Office in Probe Into Municipal Road Works

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia carried out searches on November 23 2023, in an investigation into potential misuse of EU funds, involving a project for the repair and reconstruction of a municipal road network in the Boychinovtsi Municipality, EPPO said on November 28.

The searches were carried out at multiple locations in Bulgaria, including at the premises of companies involved in the construction activities, as well as administrative offices belonging to the municipality of Boychinovtsi.

Numerous documents were seized and witnesses were interviewed.

According to the investigation, on July 9 2019, the municipality of Boychinovtsi signed a contract for financial assistance with Bulgaria’s State Fund for Agriculture, related to the execution of the project, for an amount of 2.6 million euro (5 098 290 76 leva), under the EU’s Rural Development Programme 2014–2020.

The contract established that the deadline for using the funds, and for submitting the request for the final payment, was 36 months from the date of its signature.

The deadline has since been extended several times, “but as of today, there is no evidence that the contracted activities have been completed, or that the project has been concluded,” EPPO said.

The investigation, which is carried out with the support of Bulgaria’s General Directorate – National Police, is still ongoing, in order to ascertain the nature and extent of the suspected criminal activities, the statement said.

Source : Sofiaglobe