During this summer the main activity of the Law Enforcement Agencies Subcommittee led by Nicola Iorio was focused on studying how police forces are responding to the creation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, including press releases on completed operations.
It is worth mentioning to underline that the EPPO secured its first conviction verdict on the 22nd of November 2021. There are 515 ongoing investigations up to date.
In 2021, 1351 crme reports were from the competent national authonties of the participating Member States. In Italy (which is the first country by a number of ongoing investigations in 2021), National Police Forces are still selecting judicial police officers to detach to the offices of every European Delegated Prosecutor. All Italian Police Corps carry out judicial police functions, with some of their personnel reporting directly to the judicial authority. The majority of the investigations are being conducted by the Italian Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza), due to its specific competence over economic and financial crimes, as seen on the EPPO’s media web page.
Source: Eppo Consolidated Activity report 2021 page 10.
There are some noticeable recent cases from the EPO’s practice:
“Over 3.5 million FFP2 medical masks and over €ll million in assets seized in Italy”. VAT and customs fraud related to the COVID-19 emergency.
The operation was led by a European Delegated Prosecutor in Italy and executed Italian Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza – Nucleo PEF Ravenna).
“10 arrests and seizures worth at least €13 million in Germany, Italy and Bulgaria”. VAT carousel fraud has also led to 4 arrests for drug trafficking in Italy.
The operation was led by a European Delegated Prosecutor in Germany and executed by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Headquarters of Upper Bavaria North (Kriminalpolizei mit Zentralaufgaben (KPIZ) des Polizeipräsidiums
Oberbayern Nord) and the Italian Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza – Nucleo PEF Milano).
Prepared by Antony Zhilkin. Co chair of the create subcommitee