Bulgaria's Interior Busts Debt Collection Gang
Police have busted an organized crime group specialized in collecting unpaid loans by extortion, threats, psychological and physical abuse.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Svetlozar Lazarov, Chief Secretary of the Interior, presented information about the operation. The press conference was also attended by Gencho Ivanov, head of the District Police Directorate in Yambol, and Daniela Popova, head of the Specialized Appellate Prosecutor's Office.
Lazarov explained that the crime group conducted its criminal activities on the territory of Yambol, Sliven, Burgas, and parts of the Haskovo district, in the period January 1, 2009, to March 10, 2013.
He informed that police had detained 20, charges had been pressed against 12, and 3 were still wanted.
He said that the name of the person who gave the loans was Kamen Zhelev, who had been convicted, which was why he had not been listed as the owner of Creditonline OOD, a registered finance house, despite the fact that he was largely known to be the person behind the business.
Lazarov informed that Zhelev had an employment contract with Creditonline OOD.
He also pointed out that the finance house had registered a monthly turnover rate of BGN 1 M from interest rates only.
The crime group engaged in forcible collection of unpaid debts.
Popova said that police had found clubs, a pistol, and forcibly collected debit cards of victims with the PIN codes during the search of the premises.
According to reports of dnevnik.bg, the participants in the press conference failed to specify whether signals about the group had been received in the period January 2009 - March 2013 and what steps the authorities had taken on them.
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