Bulgarian police announced a series of arrests on December 18 2012 after separate incidents in which hoax bomb calls have plagued schools, shopping malls and court buildings in the capital city Sofia and elsewhere.
The spate of fake bomb calls to the emergency number started in November, leading to evacuations and temporary closures of schools, malls and courts and large-scale police and bomb squad deployments.
Recent weeks have seen some arrests, all of teenagers, and the Interior Ministry has stepped up scrutiny of such calls.
Three minors were detained in Sofia shortly after making a hoax call about an explosive device, the Interior Ministry said on December 18.
A boyish voice called the 112 emergency telephone from a public telephone, said an explosive device had been planted and the connection suddenly broke. The 112 staff however managed to identify the place the call came from, the police found two boys and took them to the police station. Later the third boy – a classmate of theirs – was identified. All three are 12 years old and were questioned in the presence of their parents and released, local news agency Focus quoted the Interior Ministry as saying.
Pre-trial proceedings were opened.
A 15-year-old boy was detained after submitting an anonymous fake tip-off about an explosive device in the northern Bulgarian town of Svishtov, Veliko Turnovo District Police Directorate said.
A male voice called the 112 emergency telephone on December 18 and said an explosive device had been planted, but did not specify where and hung up laughing. Minutes later the police identified the telephone number and its owner – a 15-year-old girl from Svishtov. The investigation found out that a classmate of hers had taken her telephone and without her knowing and agreeing, he made the hoax call. The two were taken to the police and the boy said he had watched television reports about similar cases and had decided to do the same. He is under 24-hour arrest.
A 17-year-old girl was detained after making a series of four hoax calls about explosive devices in a shopping mall in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, the Interior Ministry said.
On November 26, a female voice called the 112 emergency telephone, saying there was a handmade explosive device in a shopping mall in Sofia. The police identified the teenager who is from Sofia and is known to the inspectors in charge of identifying juvenile offenders, the Interior Ministry said. It turned out the girl made four hoax calls about an explosive device in one and the same shopping mall. The case has been referred to Sofia Regional Prosecutor’s Office and “an opinion about educational measures was given,” the ministry said.
(Photo: Lionel Titu/sxc.hu)