Bulgarian Customs Officials Prevent Smuggling of Record Quantity of Heroin
Bulgarian customs officials have prevented the smuggling of more than 200 kilogrammes of heroin through the border with Turkey.
The record quantity of the drug was detained by customs officials at the Lesovo checkpoint on the border with Turkey, the prosecutor's office informed on Wednesday.
Further information is expected to be provided after a briefing with the participation of among others the spokesperson to the Chief Prosecutor, Rumyana Arnaudova, as well as Chief Secretary of the interior ministry, Georgi Kostov.
The briefing was also attended by regional prosecutors and high-level customs officials.
The heroin was concealed in tin cans with tomato puree loaded on a truck bearing Iranian licence plate.
The 42-year-old Iranian citizen driving the truck has been detained for up to 72 hours.
For such crimes the law foresees imprisonment of between 15 and 20 years and a fine of between BGN 200 000 and BGN 300 000.
Authorities estimate that the heroin, which is of very high quality, is worth nearly BGN 18 M.
According to the documents, the truck was loaded with 22 tonnes of puree destined for the Netherlands.
However a check with x-ray device showed different consistency and later also variations in the weight of the cans.
Heroin was found in at least 400 out of the all 44 000 cans on board the truck. The quantity might turn out to be much larger if authorities proceed and open all remaining cans.
Some of the boxes contained only puree, others had a mixture of puree and heroin, while another part of them were full only with heroin.
During the check, the authorities also found illegal cigarettes, which according to inspectors were meant to serve as distraction.
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