More than €880m (£675m) of EU funds was stolen by fraudsters last year, a new report from the European Union's anti-fraud body has found.
The European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) responded to 1,442 allegations of fraud in 2015, closing more than 300 separate investigations which revealed €888.1m had been lost to fraud.
This was slightly down on the €901m lost in 2014, and takes the total value of fraudulent activity discovered by Olaf in its four-year history to €2.5bn (£1.9bn).
Most of the money – €624m – was lost through the EU's structural and social funds project, which take the form of grants and financial assistance to both public and private sectors. Another €98m was lost to customs and trade fraud including cigarette smuggling and other forms of VAT evasion.
Among the schemes that Olaf disclosed as being fraudulent was the case of an Italian citizen who set up a fruit and vegetable refrigeration plant in Bulgaria, entered into business with another one of his ventures and began charging himself a "substantially inflated price" in order to unlock €1.3m of EU funds.
Another €76m was lost in the EU's external aid programme. Discrepancies there included a €2m donation to an African ecological project which provided false information about the scheme to charitable donors.