Bulgarian Court Releases Tax Criminals From 'All Trumps' Police Op

Crime | August 3, 2010, Tuesday // 12:21
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Court Releases Tax Criminals From 'All Trumps' Police Op Three people, charged with mtax evasion and money laundering and arrested during the special police operation "All Trumps", have been released on a bail. Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian Court of Appeals have decided to free on bail the three arrested during the special police operation”All Trumps”.

Venko Krastev has been bailed on BGN 10 000, his daughter Magdalena Krasteva – on BGN 5 000, and Marieta Kitova – on BGN 1 000.

The three have been charged with large-scale tax evasion and money laundering.

The magistrates stated Tuesday that there was not enough evidence that Kitova has been a part of the scheme, so there was no criminal group of two people. They have also said that it is not clear whether there have been a damage on the state at all.

The three were released because of Kitova's health condition and because, according to the magistrates, there was no danger that they will hide or conduct another crime.

The Court of Appeals have confirmed last week's statement by the Sofia City Court that the charges are not specific enough.

According to the Prosecution's Office, Krasteva and his daughter have registered companies for the export of scrap and iron in Romania and Hungary to avoid paying very large sums in Value Added Tax (VAT).

They have also listen nonexistent transactions and deals. When the National Revenue Agency (NAP) attempted to prevent the damage to the State budget, the group immediately sold the companies to the so-called dummies – convicts or illiterate individuals.

Kitova, who has been a tax agent for about 20 years, is also considered to be part of the scheme. She has been alarming the two about upcoming checks and audits.

The three have been arrested on July 21 during the police operation “All Trumps”, which involved 28 addresses in the Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Varna, Ruse, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, Burgas and the town of Tryavna.

Eight people, plus two tax agents, have been detained during the operation. The damages of the two-year activities of the ring has been amounted to BGN 250 M.

Only for the past three months, the criminals have damaged the state of BGN 35 M. The police have stated that the gang members have purchased real estate in Bulgaria and Europe, luxury automobiles and two yachts. One of the detained had BGN 40 000 on him, which he said was his “pocket change”.

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Tags: All Trumps, police, special operation, tax evasion, money laundering, National Revenue Agency, NAP, VAT, Court of Appeal
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