Eleven Foreign Intelligence Agents Exposed in Bulgaria Last Year – State Agency for National Security
"The interest of foreign intelligence services in the political, economic, social and defense and security spheres in Bulgaria remains constant", states the annual report on the activities of the State Agency for National Security (DANS) in 2020.
As concrete results of the countermeasures against foreign special services, three cases have been quoted, in which attempts by diplomats of Russia to obtain information representing state secrets have been intercepted. In order to protect national security, 11 foreign nationals related to the activities of foreign special services are included in the list of “personae non grata” on the territory of the country.
With regard to terrorism, in 2020 due to involvement in terrorist activity, by order of the CEO of DANS enforcement administrative measures "withdrawal of right of residence", "expulsion", "prohibition of entry into the Republic of Bulgaria" and "prohibition of entry and residence on the territory of the EU Member States" have been imposed on 8 foreign nationals. The database on unwanted foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria includes 13 persons.
The report also states that the Covid-19 pandemic "exacerbates global political and economic competition against the backdrop of ongoing instability in a number of regions close to Bulgaria". The DANS also add that the spread of coronavirus is a major reason for the significant reduction in the activity of far-right and far-left movements in Europe in 2020.
As to the migratory pressure DANS they point out that it remains at relatively low levels, "despite some increase compared to the previous year".
In 2020, at the initiative of the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and in order to protect national security, in the database on foreigners unwanted on the territory of Bulgaria, 4 foreign nationals engaged in violations related to illegal migration are included.
Employees of the agency conducted a total of 1,590 interviews with foreigners who illegally entered the country /1,102 in 2019/), as a result of the overall assessment 11 persons were identified as a potential risk to national security and measures were taken to prevent legalization of their residence in Bulgaria.
"In 2020 the Bulgarian financial system retains relative stability and sustainability, the banking sector continues to maintain high liquidity and good capital adequacy", the agency's report states.
Among the risks to financial security, according to DANS, are "an increase in non-performing loans as a result of a protracted process of economic uncertainty, the collapse of individual industries and sectors and high levels of unemployment", as well as attempts to spread false allegations in the media space, discrediting individual financial institutions or entire sectoral policies/systems.
In 2020, operations were carried out by the State Agency for National Security (DANS) to intercept numerous schemes for tax fraud and other attacks inflicting damage to state treasury. According to the State Agency for National Security (DANS), the state treasury suffered damages worth BGN 510 million owing to the criminal activity and "given its long-term nature, the amount of damage prevented is several times larger".
With regard to the arms industry, in 2020 "the trend observed in recent years towards reduction of foreign trade contracts for defense-related products in the enterprises of the Bulgarian arms industry" is maintained.
In 2020, 15 background checks were carried out by the Agency to track weapons of possible Bulgarian origin found in conflict zones. No violations of legislation and international norms have been found.
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