Court Places Millionaire Customs Officer under House Arrest

Crime | February 18, 2010, Thursday // 19:55
Bulgaria: Court Places Millionaire Customs Officer under House Arrest A Bulgarian customs officer (r.) who became a millionaire by trading in contraband goods is placed under house arrest. Photo by BGNES

A millionaire customs officer from the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas has been placed under house arrest.

The 44-year-old officer, Krasimir Gochev, had been arrested on a charge of profiting from contraband activities.

Burgas prosecutors sought the detention measure because Gochev had no previous convictions, and had cooperated with the investigation.

Gochev, who has 15 years' experience in the customs service, lives with his mother in a panel block of flats and and drives a broken Ford.

He made the daily journey of 120 km to the Lesovo border checkpoint, where he worked as head of the shift.

There, according to the investigation, the customs officer collected over USD 1 M from dealings in contraband goods.

His neighbors said that he was no different from them:

"A very good boy, making damage for so many years here - never," said one.

"It shows the way a person lives. He is not like some rich guy like those we see on the streets - with posh cars and that specific way of walking, and so on."

Burgas prosecutors announced later on Thursday that businessman Martin Stamov had been arrested as one of the organizers of the smuggling channel in Lesovo.

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Tags: customs official, Burgas, Lesovo Border Crossing Point, contraband, house arrest, Krasimir Gochev
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