New Europe on 6th June reports on the 2017 report of the EU anti-fraud watchdog, saying it undertook 197 investigations, issuing 309 recommendations to the relevant national and EU authorities were carried by OLAF over the course of 2017. OLAF opened 215 new investigations that also included over 1,100 preliminary analyses that were carried out by its experts. The anti-fraud regulator said the average duration of its investigations in the last years was 17.6 months. The smuggling of illegal pesticides, usually with the involvement of organised crime, has become a particularly worrying trend. Investigations into the improper use of EU funds showed that Romania had the higher number of cases opened in 2017 with 8 of the 11 total cases being forwarded to the relevant authorities for further review. Hungary, Poland, Greece, and Bulgaria joined Romania as the top countries with the highest number of new anti-graft investigations opened over the last year.