Bulgaria’s under-investigation organised crime unit chief resigns

The head of Bulgarian Interior Ministry’s chief directorate for combatting organised crime Stanimir Florov, under investigation on allegations of bribery, has resigned his position, local news agency Focus reported on May 23.

The report quoted the Interior Ministry saying that Florov put in a request to have his employment terminated, but did not give further details.

Earlier in the day, local daily Pressa reported that Florov retired from the ministry will full retirement benefits, which includes a one-off payment of 20 monthly salaries.

Florov has been suspended since April 19, when the Prosecutor’s Office opened its investigation after Bulgarian media were emailed copies of confidential reports showing that Florov had been the target of investigations by Bulgarian intelligence services, between 1999 and 2002, on suspicion of accepting bribes in exchange for alerting alleged criminals of investigations against them.

According to the anonymous tip-off, Florov allegedly agreed to do so in exchange for 20 000 Deutsche Marks.

The Prosecutor’s Office said at the time that it had reviewed the information and ascertained that the copies were genuine and referred to four separate investigations.

“From the contents of these investigations, as well as other sources of evidence, the conclusion was made that there is sufficient evidence that Stanimir Florov committed a crime under art. 302a,” the prosecution statement said.

The Penal Code article referred by the statement is on “a bribe of particularly large size, representing a particularly serious case” and envisions a jail sentence ranging between 10 and 30 years, a fine of up to 30 000 leva and confiscation of assets.

(Stanimir Florov. Screengrab from Bulgarian National Television)



The Sofia Globe staff

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