Two police officers in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv are set for a commanding officer’s commendation after arresting a businessman who offered them a bribe of 105 leva, with a promise of almost six times more, after they caught him driving without a licence.
Senior Constable Stoyan Hadzhiev and his colleague Stefan Karchev were on duty in central Plovdiv on the afternoon of September 27 when they noticed a luxury black 4×4 breaking traffic laws – because it was equipped with dark tinted windows throughout.
“We asked to see the necessary documents – ID, driving licence, the car registration documents. The person did not present them and we asked him to accompany us to the district station,” Hadzhiev said.
Having confirmed the identity of the driver, a 48-year-old local businessman, the policeman began to write him a citation. The penalty in Bulgaria for driving without a licence is 1500 leva (about 750 euro).
The attempt to write the ticket angered the offender, the policeman said, and he said that he could offer them a 600 leva bribe but he had only 105 leva on him, which he proferred as an advance.
Notwithstanding the fact that the sum offered was about the equivalent of a Bulgarian policeman’s monthly salary – and, local media noted, one of the police is about to be a father and the other has outstanding accumulated bills to pay – the response of the team was to click the cuffs.
“A hundred and five leva may not be a small sum of money, but we are still cultured people. We have families who believe in us. That is why we became policemen. A hundred and five leva cannot buy our dignity, honour and the epaulettes we wear,” Hadzhiev told Nova Televizia.
The reward for the team will not be a material one but a written commendation.
The offender is due in court on September 30. If found guilty, the maximum penalty he faces is 10 years in jail.
(Photo: Bart Groenhuizen/sxc.hu)