Mayor of Bulgaria's Galiche Arrested in Specialised Police Operation
The controversial mayor of Galiche, Tsenko Chokov, has been detained in a specialised police operation conducted in the village on Thursday.
The operation is carried out by the interior ministry's General Directorate Countering Organised Crime (GDBOP) under the guidance of the specialised prosecutor's office.
A total of twelve people have been detained for 24 hours, including one of Chokov'sons.
The mayor of Galiche is suspected of heading organised crime group practising usury and other unlawful activities.
The group which is active in the region of the village is also suspected of issuing threats by setting cars on fire.
The authorities have seized money, documents for the purchase of properties, power of attorney featuring the name of Chokov, telephones and other evidence.
More information on the investigation will be provided at a later stage, the website of the specialised prosecution informs.
The arrest comes just a couple of days after people from the village complained of their cars being set up on fire.
In an interview for private bTV station earlier on Thursday, Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova said that the arrests were not related to the incident with the cars.
Bachvarova added that the investigation behind the operation has been carried out in the past two months. There is heightened police presence in the village, with the interior ministry having deployed around a hundred officials.
Chokov was reelected to a fifth term at the local elections last year. On several occasions, people from the village have complained of being maltreated by the mayor.
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