Arrests of Bulgarian customs officers causes long queue of lorries

A queue of lorries stretching several kilometres formed at the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint between Bulgaria and Turkey on the morning of December 14, a day after the arrests of dozens of Bulgarian customs officers in connection with alleged corruption.

Reports from the scene said that while overnight the border checkpoint had handled about 700 goods lorries in both directions, on Monday morning the queue was about 12km long and reached almost to Svilengrad.

According to a statement by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, on December 13 there was a special operation under the direction of the Special Public Prosecutor to combat corruption at border checkpoints.

The operation involved staff of the Chief Directorate for Combating Organised Crime, the Interior Ministry regional directorate of Haskovo, the State Agency for National Security and the prosecution.

Thirty-three customs officers were arrested. Searches of the homes of those taken into custody found a total of about 100 000 leva (about 50 000 euro). Allegedly, the money came from bribes, from five to 300 euro, for customs officers to allow vehicles to pass the border unchecked. The cars, offices and persons of customs officers were searched in the course of the operation, the ministry said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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