Bulgarian Customs Prevent Cigarette Smuggling from Greece

Crime | May 6, 2012, Sunday // 14:19
Bulgarian Customs Prevent Cigarette Smuggling at Greek Border: Bulgarian Customs Prevent Cigarette Smuggling from Greece A record for a passenger car amount of contraband cigarettes have been busted at the Greek border by Bulgarian Customs agents. File photo by Customs Agency

Bulgarian Customs officers at the Kulata cross-border checkpoint with Greece have seized 72 000 pieces of contraband cigarettes early Sunday morning.

The automobile "Volkswagen Passat" with a registration from the central city of Gabrovo had arrived from Athens, the press center of the Customs Agency reports.

The agents checked the car through the risk method analysis, despite the fact that the driver did not declare any excise goods, and found a special hidden compartment inside, containing a record amount of cigarettes for an automobile.

The driver is a Bulgarian man, 55, from the central mountain town of Troyan. Pre-trail proceedings have been launched, and the prosecutor's office in the city of Blagoevgrad has been notified.

The news is the latest in a series of successful busts of contraband items, coming in the aftermath of a special police operation codenamed "Customs," which was carried out by the police and the prosecutor's office.

On Wednesday evening, the day shift of 32 customs officers at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint at the Bulgarian-Turkish border was detained within the special operation. A senior Customs officer and a Customs expert were found to have a total of BGN 14 000 in different currencies.

The two officials said that the money had been found in the restrooms at the border crossing point.

Apart from this sum, ten customs officers were found to have smaller sums of EUR 150-180 and 21 stacks of cigarettes without excise labels.

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Tags: customs, officers, bribes, TCapitan Andreevo, Kapitan Andreevo, border crossing point, customs officers, bribery, extortion, organized crime group, special operation, Sofia City Prosecutor's Office, interior ministry, GDBOP, special police operation, contraband, racket, Bulgarian-Turkish border, checkpoint, Danube Bridge, smuggling, cigarettes, contraband, Kulata, SRS
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