Bulgaria: Another Telephone Scam Group Busted
There's been a decline in phone scams, but we're not stopping working. Today we will give details about another group of phone scammers who also acted on the territory of Romania, said at a briefing prosecutor Valentina Madzharova, acting administrative head of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office. The briefing was occasioned by an international police operation under the direction of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office. The operation neutralized a criminal group involved in telephone scams (of Bulgarian citizens), which also acted from the territory of another country - Romania.
"Six persons who have worked for the group have been detained. One of the individuals is their ringleader. The group was formed in early 2019 and has functioned to this day. The interesting thing in this case is that the mules carried the money from Bulgaria to Romania and then returned it to Bulgaria in order to cut off the connection of the money with Bulgaria, as well as to make it difficult for the investigation. The group managed to take over BGN 156,000, all of victims were from Bulgaria and were selected at random. The group was based in Romania and operated with Romanian SIM cards, and the leader has played a very important role. He is a Bulgarian citizen, has not been criminally convicted and has no criminal record. Three of the group have been detained in Romania and three of the mules have been apprehended in Bulgaria These crimes are extremely dangerous and we will request detention for all six participants," she added.
We have had very good cooperation with our European and Romanian colleagues. The operation was carried out jointly and under the leadership of Eurojust", said Chief Commissary Nikolay Hadzhiev, Director of the Chief National Police Directorate. "On Bulgarian territory, 12 dwellings were searched, used by the participants in the group, some of which were luxuriously furnished. 75 phones, 25 SIM cards, cardholders, a gas pistol, gold jewelery, money, documents, as well as 12 vehicles were found and seized. The sums with which the victims were defrauded are different. In some cases, they handed over their gold voluntarily. The largest amount is BGN 30,000, but the expert analyses continue and the figure may increase. So far we have gathered evidence from eight victims of the group, but we are continuing to work and certainly the victims will become more, as will the defendants charged with participation in the crime group.
"We are working extremely well and the number of this type of crimes is falling. After all, in Sofia there is a case of an 11-year-old girl who threw money through the terrace to fraudsters. I call on all citizens to be very careful and not to fall for manipulations. Police officers never act in this way and will never want a citizen to throw money over the balcony," said Senior Commissioner Georgi Hadzhiev, Director of the Sofia Inerior Ministry Directorate.
I can safely state that the participants in this group are rogues by profession. They drive expensive cars and live in luxury homes. All state authorities will be harnessed in the investigation of this case. Their income andtheir property will be checked to find out if everything is according to all the rules", prosecutor Madzharova concluded .
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