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Close Cooperation: German Customs and the European Anti-Fraud Office Giovanni Kessler, Head of OLAF meets Customs Director General Uwe Schröder in Bonn (FOTO)


On January 25 German Customs Director General Uwe Schröder and the
Director General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) Giovanni
Kessler met at the Customs Headquarters in Bonn to discuss strategic
matters in view to enhancing operational cooperation between their

Uwe Schröder underlines: „In the fight against smuggling, fraud
and corruption, close cooperation is a core element. Therefore we
need to join competences and powers of both authorities. All over
Europe we benefit of coordination support by OLAF, which will also be
shown by the results of the meeting. That–s why I am very interested
in a continuous personal contact and the exchange of view with the
Head of OLAF.“

OLAF has been closely liaising with German authorities in the last
years, particularly in the fight against illicit trade that severely
affects the EU and national budgets, causing substantial losses of
revenue. (For example, at the end of 2014, a joint operation
coordinated by OLAF and by the Italian and German law enforcement
authorities led to the dismantling of an international tobacco
contraband network and several arrests.)

„We rely on the customs authorities of the Member States to ensure
that the EU borders are protected and that products smuggled by
criminal networks are prevented from entering European soil,“
Giovanni Kessler said. „I am very much looking forward to an even
stronger partnership with German authorities, so that together we can
counter the threats facing our common market and offer the best
protection possible to our taxpayers,“ he added. In January 2016 the
reorganization of German Customs and the establishment of the Central
Customs Authority were completed. The General Customs Authority and
the Customs Criminological Office are responsible for the close
cooperation with OLAF and are (committed to intensifying work on) an
international level.

Information Box:

An Italian public prosecutor with an expertise in organised crime,
Giovanni Kessler became Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud
Office (OLAF) in 2011. OLAF is the only European body mandated to
investigate fraud involving European Union funds, as well as serious
misconduct by staff and members of the EU institutions. As OLAF–s
Head, Mr. Kessler prompted a reorganisation of the Office, leading to
a significant increase in its investigative performance.

OLAF helps authorities inside and outside the EU to understand
fraud types, trends, threats and risks in order to protect the EU–s
financial interests by preventing and fighting fraud. OLAF also
organizes training on fraud detection and on identifying risk

Tobacco smuggling causes heavy yearly losses to the budgets of
Member States and the EU in evaded customs duties and taxes. Moreover
smuggled tobacco poses great risks to the consumers and the
businesses. So OLAF coordinates efforts to fight tobacco smuggling
across the EU.

Yvonne Schamber
Telefon: 0228/330-11603

Original-Content von: Generalzolldirektion, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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