Bulgaria’s motor vehicle administration chief resigns, faces charges

The executive director of Bulgaria’s motor vehicle administration agency, Valentin Bozhkov, submitted his resignation on August 15, shortly after Sofia prosecutors said that he would face charges alongside five other people.

On August 13, Bozhkov was one of 13 employees of the agency arrested in a joint operation between the police and the State Agency for National Security, as part of an investigation into alleged corruption by Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office.

The prosecutor’s office said that charges were pressed against six people, but gave no further details. Bozhkov’s lawyer, quoted by mass-circulation daily 24 Chassa, said that his client faced charges of mismanagement. Bozhkov was released on August 14.

“It is unclear what he did or did not do, what damages were caused to the agency he was managing. Nothing is clear from the way the indictment is formulated,” the lawyer, Hristo Georgiev, was quoted as saying.

Bozhkov himself, speaking to Bulgarian National Television (BNT), declined to comment on the charges, saying only that he had submitted his resignation.

Transport Minister Danail Papazov, quoted by BNT, said that he had found numerous tip-offs concerning irregularities at the agency when taking office in May. The agency handles a number of activities, from vehicle registration to driver licencing and licences to move passengers and cargo.

Papazov said that he would decide on August 19 whether to accept the resignation or fire Bozhkov.

(Valentin Bozhkov, screengrab from Bulgarian National Television)



The Sofia Globe staff

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