Claims of Bulgaria-Sudan Arms Contraband Confirmed

Politics | October 17, 2003, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

There is enough evidence of illegal exports of arm parts from Bulgaria to UN-embargoed Sudan, Bulgaria's Interior Minister Georgi Petkanov said on Friday.

The smuggling scandal broke out Thursday as police arrested the current director of the Beta arms factory based in Bulgarian town of Chervyen Bryag and his predecessor. The two are suspected of arranging exports of parts for self-propelled howitzers to Africa's largest country. The jobbery allegedly brought them some BGN 1 M.

The two men have been also accused of document fraud.

Later on Friday, the Bulgarian News Agency BTA reported that a third person has been detained by the National Investigation Service over the illegal arms deal. The arrestee -- Nikolay Kratunov -- is chairman of the RIK cooperation, which has reportedly served as an intermediary in the operation.

Gen. Rumen Milanov, chief of Bulgaria's anti-mafia police unit, confirmed the information about the arrests but refused to disclose the names of the detainees. They have exported potential dual-use goods to Sudan, he said.
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