Bulgarian Police Bust 5 in 'Scrap' Special Ops

Crime | February 15, 2012, Wednesday // 12:03
Bulgarian Police Bust 5 in 'Scrap' Special Ops: Bulgarian Police Bust 5 in 'Scrap' Special Ops Bulgarian police and special task force are investigating a large-scale money laundering scheme through fake scrap purchases. File photo

The Bulgarian police were able to neutralize an organized crime group dealing with money laundering and tax evasion, the Interior Ministry's press office reported Wednesday.

The special police operation, codenamed "Scrap," revealed that in the course of the year the gang inflicted damages to the State budget in the amount of BGN 30 M.

Five people have been arrested and are kept behind bars for 24 hours before facing the judge.

The operation had been carried out in the capital Sofia and the cities of Pernik, Varna, Yambol and Pazardzhik, jointly by the Unit for Combatting Organized Crime, GDBOP, the State Agency for National Security, DANS, the National Revenue Agency, NRA, and the anti-Mafia special Prosecutor's Office.

The members of the group had established a chain of fake businesses declaring purchases of large quantities of ferrous and non-ferrous metals from abroad. The goal had been to provide invoices to real scrap merchants who had bought metals without documents thus helping them avoid paying the 10% tax on the value of the purchase.

The ringleader had used foreign companies some of which are registered in the UK, the US, or in offshore zones.

During the course of the operation, police raided 19 homes and offices in Sofia and the country. They confiscated cash in the amount of BGN 150 000, gold coins and jewelry, computers and computer paraphernalia, and "black" accounting books.

A pre-trial legal procedure has been launched. The investigation is continuing.

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Tags: fake, money laundering, investigation, police, anti-Mafia special Prosecutor's Office, NRA, GDBOP, DANS, raid, tax evasion, arrested, special police operation, scrap, purchases
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