Anti-Mafia Court Rules BGN 50 000 Bail for Bulgaria's Sugar VAT Fraud Boss
A bail of BGN 50 000 (some EUR 25 500) has been determined by Bulgaria's special anti-mafia court for the release of Stayko Staykov who is believed to be in charge of a large-scale sugar trade VAT draining ring.
During Friday's court sitting, Staykov was officially charged as the leader of a VAT fraud group specializing in sugar trade.
The charges against him were brought in absentia on December 12, 2012, when the police arrested Simeon Tanev, Dobrin Dobrev, and Veselin Ranchev as his accomplices in a special operation of Bulgaria's anti-mafia unit GDBOP.
The special operation codenamed "Lollipop" was led by Bulgaria's Specialized Prosecutor's Office; during the operation, the police found that Staykov was abroad.
On February 5, 2013, Staykov turned himself in at the Specialized Prosecutor's Office.
According to the investigators, Staykov's sugar trade VAT draining scheme had been operating since February 2012, and incurred losses to the Bulgarian state budget totaling BGN 2.5 M.
It used commercial firms under it control to import refined sugar from Greece, to carry out fake deals with phantom firms in order to evade VAT payments, and to sell the sugar in Bulgaria's domestic market at reduced prices.
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