|Sun, sand, sea and structural funding instruments|
Was this the greatest scam ever pulled on the EU?
There are some scandals that make the papers, some that become legend as they are whispered and some that are so outrageous that they never see the light of day and remain unsaid, unknown.
There are so many institutions and departments that, perhaps more by chance than planning, but a few years ago a whole DG of the European Commission was discovered, DG BEACH, that nobody knew anything about.
New Europe found evidence of a previously unknown EU Mission, located in an uninhabited island of the Thai coast. The mysterious outpost may have been founded the early 1970’s and there is no official record of its existence or of its personnel and it has no trace of official activity.
After discovering a document hoard under the Berlaymont building, investigators think there could be as many as eighty people living there, all receiving pay from the Commission. The documents, believed to be personnel records show that the staff were meant to be transferred from one DG to another, but part way, were co-opted to DG BEACH, of which no record exists.
An official, speaking off the record told our newspaper that around 1 million euros a month is transferred to a Western Union office on Bangkok’s Khao San Road, the legendary backpackers hangout.
Eyewitnesses report that Europeans, wearing smart trousers and light blue shirts regularly turn up at supermarkets with large ring binders, out of which they place orders for a variety of goods. According to local shop owners, Mr and Mrs Luhan, they purchase a variety of practical and luxury goods, including, Mrs Luhan says, “Condoms. Lots and lots of condoms”.
Another merchant alleges that he has a regular order to deposit 50 crates of beer and a range of spirits including vodka and single malt whiskey on the deserted isle of Ko Phi Phi Lee every month and receives payment from a Brussels bank account. He asked, “Why would an uninhabited island need so much booze?”
Looking into the dusty records, that seem to have been deliberately misplaced, it appears that the Mission was started in 1972 by three Commission experts. According to an old hand, the three were sent to Thailand to learn about cannabis cultivation and its effects, in order to pre-plan an EU funded initiative against the crop.
The source says, “These guys were experts, there was nothing they didn’t know about growing good, sweet weed”. However, the trio were then sent to a development project, although nobody knows what it was exactly or where they went.
“They are still collecting their salaries, so we didn’t worry too much” said a HR spokesperson.
An official said that the Commission had sent out a team to examine the matter, but had not reported finding anything out, although they were continuing to investigate. The official said the investigation team had been in the field for three years and sent regular reports, on postcards, to the Commission.
“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. We’re looking into the matter and I’m sure there’s a good explanation,” he added.