Officials Detained at Bulgaria's Fisheries Agency in EU Funds Misuse Probe

Crime | October 25, 2016, Tuesday // 09:42
Bulgaria: Officials Detained at Bulgaria's Fisheries Agency in EU Funds Misuse Probe File photo, BGNES

Bulgarian prosecuting authorities have detained several officials in a probe into the misuse of EU funding at the state fisheries body.

Those arrested include the Executive Agency of Fisheries and Aquaculture (EAFA)'s CEO, Yancho Yanchev.

Another person working at the agency has also been taken into custody, along with a third suspect representing a company that received EU funding from the EAFA.

The operation has been carried about by the prosecutor's office and the State Agency for National Security (DANS), the Chief Prosecutor's Spokesperson, Rumyana Arnaudova, has told the public broadcaster BNT.

Police have searched office venues in three cities as part of a three-month investigation into a claim that EU money was granted to companies that had presented false information about their activities.

A check is also ongoing at the state agriculture fund to establish whether "higher-level" officials are involved, Arnaudova has told the Bulgarian National Radio.

The EAFA manages a EUR 113 M fisheries program, EUR 88 M of them being allocated under EU programs.

Headquartered in Burgas, by the Black Sea, it also controls fisheries, aquacultures and first sale of fishery products.

The agency is in charge of a number of other activities, including the validation and verification of catch certificates at import or export of fishery products, granting fishing licenses and authorizations, and registration of aquaculture farms.

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Tags: Yancho Yanchev, Fisheries, DANS, EU funds, Rumyana Arnaudova
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