Bulgartabac to Halt Exports to Middle East April 1
Bulgartabac will halt its sales to the Middle East from April 1 due to alleged "negative media campaign" and in view of "the sensitive situation in that region", the tobacco holding group said on Wednesday.
The Sofia-listed private company said in a statement that the halting of exports to the Middle East region aims to prevent the involvement of Bulgartabac “in artificially created reputational issues that could lead to its total destruction."
Bulgartabac also said that they had not changed their distributors in the Middle East over the past 10 years, i.e. those partners had been doing business with the company while it was still state-owned.
The company also said that its exports had been carried out in complete compliance with customs and trade legislation, which had been confirmed by customs and tax audits over the past several years.
Wednesday’s announcement comes almost a month after Delyan Peevski, a controversial Bulgarian businessman and lawmaker from predominantly ethnic Turk party DPS, said that he was selling his stake in Bulgartabac. In a statement sent out to the Bulgarian media back then he explained that recent attempts to discredit Bulgartabac through the use of his name were aimed at embroiling "Bulgartabac in political intrigues".
Bulgartabac has been targeted by media publications suggesting that its products allegedly constitute a major share of cigarettes smuggled into Turkey. The company has denied wrongdoing.
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