OLAF Investigation of Romana Vlahutin Confirmed

By Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei,
OLAF Investigation of Romana Vlahutin Confirmed

After a recent unconfirmed report that EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin is under the investigation of European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF, Exit has received confirmation from another source with knowledge of the matter that this is indeed the case.

The first rumors about a possible OLAF investigation emerged in February 2017, when General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla met OLAF director Giovanni Kessler in Brussels. According to its mission, “OLAF investigates fraud against the EU budget, corruption and serious misconduct within the European institutions, and develops anti-fraud policy for the European Commission.”

Although the precise nature of the investigation is unclear, it is assumed to be related to the acquisition of the residence of the EU Ambassador in Rolling Hills in Tirana.

Exit continues to pursue its investigation into this matter, and has filed a complaint with the EU Ombudsman to gain access to the complete set of proposals submitted to the EU Representation in Tirana from which the final property was selected. The European External Action Service (EEAS) has refused to provide these documents, citing “commercial interests.”

The acquisition of the villa had already raised the interest of the Budget Control Committee of the European Parliament, with Chair Ingeborg Gräßle submitting written questions to the EEAS.

EU spokesperson Maja Kocijančič has rejected the allegations of possible fraud as “fabrications,” while Ambassador Vlahutin spoke about “criminal interest groups” pushing “fake news.”

We, however, maintain that considering Ambassador Vlahutin’s own history of hiding her wealth and real estate from public scrutiny, and the EU Delegation in Albania’s past of maladministration, it is the right of the citizens of the EU and Albania to know the truth about this highly publicized and controversial acquisition.



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