OLAF raided EU border chief's office over migrant pushback claims

Kathimerini, 14 January 2021 and EUobserver, 11 January 2021.


"The EU’s anti-fraud watchdog, OLAF, raided the offices of Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri, as well as his head of Cabinet Thibauld de La Haye Jousselin, on December 7, 2020, as part of an investigation into allegations of migrant pushbacks, according on a document obtained by Kathimerini.

As claimed by the author of the document, who has knowledge of the inner workings of Frontex, Leggeri “actively resisted” the recruitment of the required 40 fundamental rights officers provided for in the regulation of the new  European Border and Coast Guard Agency, answering frequent questions from agency staff in early 2020 that “it is not a priority.”

In addition, the author states that the executive director “repeatedly made it clear to staff” that “Frontex is not an expensive lifeguard service,” and staff in operations had been made to understand that “reporting pushbacks involving Frontex personnel is not a route to popularity or promotion” within the agency.

At the same time, reporting of incidents is “intentionally centralized to be slow, cumbersome and very discreet,” according to the same document."

Source: OLAF raided EU border chief's office over migrant pushback claims (Kathimerini, link)

See also: EU anti-fraud office launches probe into Frontex (EUobserver, link) - an initial report on the raid, but without the added detail contained in the Kathimerini report.

 

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