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Press release6 August 2019European Anti-Fraud Office1 min read

Spanish Supreme Court confirms OLAF's €9.7 million findings



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OLAF welcomes final judgement by the Spanish Supreme Court in case concerning unpaid customs duties on imported tuna.

In 2010, OLAF closed a two-year investigation on avoided customs duties on tuna imports from El Salvador.

OLAF looked into allegations that significant quantities of tuna exported from El Salvador into the EU did not meet the origin requirements of the EU's Generalised System of Preference scheme.

Since 2010, the customs matters in question have been subject to court proceedings in Spain, recently concluded in June 2019.

The judgement in the case is consistent with OLAF's findings and confirms an amount of EUR 9.7 million to be recovered to the EU budget.

Due to OLAF's unique transnational investigative capacity in protecting the EU's financial interests, OLAF investigative actions in the case did not stop at EU's borders.

The case involved performing checks in the Ivory Coast and in El Salvador and working closely with national authorities in both countries.

This is a perfect example of OLAF, Member States and third country cooperation to protect the EU financial interests, for the benefit of EU citizens.

OLAF mission, mandate and competences:

OLAF’s mission is to detect, investigate and stop fraud with EU funds.

OLAF fulfils its mission by:

  • carrying out independent investigations into fraud and corruption involving EU funds, so as to ensure that all EU taxpayers’ money reaches projects that can create jobs and growth in Europe;
  • contributing to strengthening citizens’ trust in the EU Institutions by investigating serious misconduct by EU staff and members of the EU Institutions;
  • developing a sound EU anti-fraud policy.

In its independent investigative function, OLAF can investigate matters relating to fraud, corruption and other offences affecting the EU financial interests concerning:

  • all EU expenditure: the main spending categories are Structural Funds, agricultural policy and rural development funds, direct expenditure and external aid;
  • some areas of EU revenue, mainly customs duties;
  • suspicions of serious misconduct by EU staff and members of the EU institutions.

For further details:

Spokesperson (acting)
European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
Phone: +32 2 29 57336
E-mail: olaf-mediaatec [dot] europa [dot] eu ( olaf-media[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu )


Publication date
6 August 2019
European Anti-Fraud Office
News type
  • OLAF press release