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Swedish Match's "snus" investigation pushed EU commissioner, John Dalli to force to resign

Tuesday, 16 October 2012
A fraud investigation request put forward by Swedish Tobacco Company, Swedish Match, forces John Dalli, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs to resigns as it turns out fraud was part of the problem.
EU anti-fraud office OLAF opened an investigation in May at the request of tobacco company, Swedish Match. The investigation concluded that the company alleged that a Maltese entrepreneur had used his contacts with Mr Dalli to try to gain financial advantages from the company in return for seeking to influence a possible future legislative proposal on tobacco products, in particular on the EU export ban on snus.
As soon as the Commission received the complaint, it immediately requested OLAF to investigate, according to a press release from the EU commission.
The release continued that the OLAF final report was sent to the Commission on 15 October. It found that the Maltese entrepreneur had approached the company using his contacts with Mr Dalli and sought to gain financial advantages in exchange for influence over a possible future legislative proposal on snus.

No transaction was concluded between the company and the entrepreneur and no payment was made, it continues. The OLAF report did not find any conclusive evidence of the direct participation of Mr Dalli but did consider that he was aware of these events.

European Commission President Josť Manuel Barroso has so far ordered the Slovak Commissioner Šefčovič to take over Dallis chores, until a successor is appointed.

Dalli, 64 years old, has been a commissioner for health and consumer policy since 2010. He already has a long political career behind him in his home country Malta where he was finance minister and foreign minister.

In March of last year it was reported that he had spoken in a way that seemed to support Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi - just one day after Commission President, Manuel Barroso called on Gaddafi to step down.

Dalli was also involved in a scandal at home in the middle of the 2000s, newspapers in Malta said today. That time he resigned as foreign minister after just three months at his post in 2004 after he had been accused of taking bribes in connection with a procurement of medical equipment.

The allegations proved to be false and the investigators who presented them were sentenced later to two years in prison.
By Team

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