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OLAF's controls in Germany

by Dr. Heiko Gemmel

Since the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was set up in 1999, there is, for the first time at European level, a single contact point for all measures to protect the Community's financial interests. One of OLAF's most important tasks is to carry out on-the-spot investigations or checks on economic operators in the various Member States. The present paper deals specifically with the implementation of OLAF controls in Germany. It is intended to clarify, not only for the investigators of OLAF, but also, and in particular, for the economic operators concerned in Germany, what specific investigative powers OLAF staff have in such checks and what rights of defence are available to economic operators in this connection. Due to the very complicated references to national law in the relevant EC regulations, one focus of this work is to elaborate in detail and interpret in detail the relevant European and national procedural regulations within the framework of OLAF inspections in Germany.

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