New Chair of Bulgarian Energy Watchdog Implicated in Illegal Sale of Cigarettes

Crime | February 14, 2013, Thursday // 09:03
Bulgaria: New Chair of Bulgarian Energy Watchdog Implicated in Illegal Sale of Cigarettes Yuliana Ivanova, the new Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), has turned out to be the owner of an online store selling cigarettes illegally. Photo by BGNES

Yuliana Ivanova, the new Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), has turned out to be the owner of an online store selling cigarettes illegally.

Online tobacco advertising and sales have been banned through the Tobacco and Tobacco Products Act since July 2012.

Ivanova, who was appointed DKEVR Chair on Wednesday, owns the company Image Code Group, which owns the online store babbetshop.com, according to reports of Trud daily.

One week ago, Ivanova transferred the management of the company.

The product list of the online store contains 30 brands of cigarettes which can be ordered, including products of majors like Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and JTI.

Asked to comment on the matter by Trud daily, the three companies confirmed that the online trade in tobacco products was illegal, as did Bulgaria's Customs Agency.

The customs authority, however, noted that it lacked the capacity to monitor such violations.

The Customs Agency informed that it had already detected two such online stores managed by companies based in Ruse and Razgrad, ordering at least three cartons of cigarettes in each case and catching the offenders as the order was delivered.

Trud daily has reported the online store to the Customs Agency and the Cyber Crime unit at the Chief Directorate "Combating Organized Crime."

In an interview for TV7, Ivanova confirmed that the online store was selling cigarettes.

The new Chair of Bulgaria's energy watchdog explained that she had not been aware of the fact that the online sale of tobacco products had been banned and assured that the practice would be terminated immediately.

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Tags: Yuliana Ivanova, State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, DKEVR, tobacco products, online shopping, Customs Agency
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