An increase of 58% organized crime in the European Union.
The European Union Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, says the number of corruption probes against staff at EU institutions rose to a record high last year.
Giovanni Kessler, the director general of the EU’s OLAF, said Tuesday that the office opened a record number of fraud cases in 2013.
OLAF said it launched a total of 253 investigations last year compared to 160 cases in 2009, which is a rise of over 58 percent.
In addition, the office also issued 353 recommendations for financial, judicial, administrative or disciplinary action.
The number of disciplinary recommendations in 2013 was 81 percent more than that of four years earlier.
The office recommended the recovery of a total amount of 402.8 million euros. Kessler said one factor behind the rising numbers is a recent reorganization of the office, which made OLAF, an “increasingly proficient office in the fight against fraud and corruption in the EU.”
Furthermore, the head of the anti-fraud office said he backed calls to establish a public prosecutor’s office to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against the EU’s financial interests.
Kessler said the replacement of OLAF by a fully independent public prosecutor would be a more effective way of prosecuting transnational crimes in Europe.
The call comes also as OLAF, which comes under the responsibility of the European Commission, has faced criticism that it is too close to the institution it often investigates.