EC fraud squad hits UCE

July 26, 1996

The University of Central England in Birmingham confirmed this week that it was being investigated by the European Commission's antifraud squad over alleged misuse of European Social Fund money.

But senior university officials said they were confident UCE would be cleared, as it was in three previous inquiries over the same allegations.

The recent investigation was sparked by copies of internal university memos claiming misuse of ESF funds being leaked to The Guardian and then passed on by the newspaper to the commission.

The memos were written by engineering professor Reza Ziarati, who put together the bids for the funds and who left the university three months ago. They question whether some Pounds 600,000 received over three years to run programmes for the unemployed or people in need of retraining was being put to proper use.

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