Bulgaria Border Police Chief 'Dismissed'

Politics » DOMESTIC | April 28, 2015, Tuesday // 15:10
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Border Police Chief 'Dismissed' Photo by BGNES

Milen Penev, who heads the Border Directorate at Bulgaria's Interior Ministry, has been dismissed, media reports suggest.

This was first announced by public broadcaster BNR, though the Ministry of Interior is yet to confirm.

Penev took over in end-December of last year after his predecessor resigned over a truck incident which caused the death of a driver carrying 14 border police officers.

Bulgaria has recently come under fire from human rights activists, who are accusing again Bulgaria of mistreating asylum seekers. The latest wave of criticism followed the death of two Yazidis whose bodies were found near the Bulgaria-Turkey border (on the other side of the border).

Some NGOs claim that the practice of pushing immigrants back into Turkey is still alive and is often carried out by the Bulgarian border police against people fleeing conflicts in the Middle East. 

But BNR sources have not said whether that episode is anyhow related to the dismissal.

The government is also trying to curb illegal smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol into Bulgaria, with 25 Customs Agency officers having been discharged on Tuesday morning. PM Boyko Borisov has pledged to boost customs revenues significantly in 2015 to bring more revenues into the treasury.

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Tags: Zaharin Penov, Milen Penev, Border Police, Customs Agency
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