7 Bulgarian Customs Officials Charged with Bribe-Taking
Seven customs officials have been charged with participating in an organized crime group involved in bribe-taking at the Lesovo border crossing point, according to Deputy Chief Prosecutor Borislav Sarafov.
During a special police operation at the Lesovo border crossing point on Saturday, a total of 24 customs officials were arrested.
The prosecuting authority has pressed charges against seven customs officials, with five of them placed in custody and two released on bail, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio.
Dimitar Kolev, director of the Lesovo border crossing point, is one of the seven people arrested.
He was detained at around 6 pm on Saturday while receiving an envelope containing around BGN 10 000 from a shift supervisor, Georgi Banev, also among those indicted.
During a search of Kolev’s home, police found a sum of BGN 82 000 in different currencies.
Money envelopes were also found at the homes of the other customs officials, as well as at the Lesovo border crossing, where they had been stored in hidden compartments at the room for storing confiscated items.
The total sum of money confiscated by the authorities so far amounts to BGN 220 000.
The customs officials are said to have charged cars a bribe of BGN 10-20 and TIR Trucks USD 100-200.
The bribes were paid by drivers seeking to evade customs inspections.
Bulgaria’s Specialized Criminal Court is come up with a ruling Saturday on the request that the five customs officials be remanded in custody.
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