State Agency Issues Thousands of Certificates of Bulgarian Origin without Proof

Society | October 15, 2014, Wednesday // 13:51
Bulgaria: State Agency Issues Thousands of Certificates of Bulgarian Origin without Proof Photo by BGNES.

The State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad has issued thousands of certificates of Bulgarian origin to citizens of Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia, without having received any proof of their Bulgarian origins.

This was established after an inspection was carried out by the Supreme Administrative Public Prosecutor’s Office at the request of the Ministry of Justice late last year.

According to the Bulgarian news site Mediapool, the findings were “so outrageous” that the only logical explanation for the actions of some employees of the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad was corruption.

Prosecutors first checked 1,512 files of the agency which have resulted in the institution issuing a certificate of Bulgarian origin to foreign citizens. The certificate is required by law in order for an applicant to be granted Bulgarian citizenship.

Among the 1512 files there were people who had Bulgarian names, still other names had nothing to do with the Bulgaria.

Ministry officials met with a total of 640 foreigners who have been granted certificates of Bulgarian origin by the agency. Only 200 of them came back with any documents that prove their Bulgarian ancestry.

This led the prosecution to check 810 random cases from the period 2011 to 2013. It was found that 717 (90%) of the cases had no evidence of Bulgarian ancestry.

Prosecutors stated that a total of 1644 people from Albania and Kosovo have received certificates of Bulgarian origin, claiming to be members of local Bulgarian organizations. However, prosecutors also found that these organizations were not recognized by the agency.

So far, prosecutors have not initiated criminal proceedings but have only made a set of recommendations to the agency.

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Tags: State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, certificates, Bulgarian origin, Ministry of Justice, Bulgarian ancestry, prosecution

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