Police carried out searches at European Commission offices in Brussels on Monday (8 October) as part of an investigation into alleged fraud connected to the European Union's research budget.
The inquiry is believed to concern three current or former members of staff working for the Commission's information society directorate-general (now DG Connect).
Police searched computer hard-drives at Commission offices, European Voice understands. No arrests were made and the investigation, which was launched in 2008, is continuing.
OLAF, the Commission's anti-fraud office, has been conducting its own investigation into the allegations, which are understood to relate to alleged passing of information to companies bidding for contracts.
DG Connect is based in offices in avenue Beaulieu. In a statement, the Commission confirmed that it was “aware of the investigation into a very complex case of fraud concerning the EU research budget, which led the Belgian authorities to investigate three EU officials”.
It added: “This investigation was initiated by OLAF [and] has been conducted thanks to the strong support of the Commission control system. There has been very close co-operation between the Commission, OLAF and national judicial authorities on this case.”
The statement added that the Commission would not give further details because the investigation was continuing. But it confirmed that the Commission had “taken all necessary measures” to ensure that “EU financial interests are protected”.
It added: “The presumption of innocence applies to anyone subject to such an investigation.”