Bulgaria's Top Prosecutor: Organized Crime Is on Decline
Bulgaria's organized crime is weaker, less obvious, and less organized compared to five years ago, according to Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev.
Speaking for Darik radio Saturday, Velchev stressed that if any crime activity in Bulgaria went down, it was the organized one.
"I say this with the clear understanding that such statement could trigger irony and mockery, but it is a fact that in the last several years there is a steady trend of decline of organized crime activities, and the Netherlands, which is blocking our Schengen entry, should notice it," the Chief Prosecutor said.
According to him, not-guilty verdicts, even in high-profile cases, are also going down. His comment came as a reply to the host's words that 95% of all cases end with guilty verdicts.
Velchev vowed the same for cases related to violations of the election process, explaining that they were about 100 probes for vote buying and selling, where he expected legal sanctions.
Speaking about the planned adoption of a law for the confiscation of illegally acquired assets, the Chief Prosecutor pointed out that the first measure should be to establish the status of the property through the Revenue Agency.
Velchev further said that the main problem of the Prosecutor's Office is the lack of modern methodology for investigation of complex white collar crimes.
"We have achieved significant improvement in investigating abuse of EU funds, but not tax crimes," he stated.
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It may be weaker, it may be less obvious and it may be down, but not enough. Yes, Bulgaria's EU partners should recognise this and they do (as we saw a couple of days ago the country was praised for its work to date on crime and corruption by the EU) but there is still far to go before Schengen will be given to us. Law and justice in the country must carry on working hard so that OC is down to the levels in the northern parts of the EU, we will never eradicate it as it is a social cancer that keeps returning, but we can sit tight on the situation. Maybe then we can also look at curruption in government both national and local and other official bodies.