40 Bulgarian customs officers at Lesovo checkpoint held in anti-corruption bust

Bulgarian State Agency for National Security and Interior Ministry teams arrested 40 customs officers at the Lesovo border checkpoint with Turkey in an anti-corruption operation on November 2 2016, reports said.

The operation started at 7am and the border checkpoint was closed.

Bulgarian Border Police advised those travelling by road to Turkey from Bulgaria to use two other border checkpoints, at Kapitan Andreevo and Malko Turnovo.

As it happens, the bust took place precisely two years to the day to a very similar operation, in which two shifts of customs officers were arrested for corruption.

Pending the release of detailed official information about the bust, Bulgarian media said on November 2 2016 that the customs officers allegedly had been acting as an organised crime group, harvesting large and small bribes as what is termed in Bulgaria a “peace tax”, in other words, a payment to ensure that one passes the border undisturbed.

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(Photo: Anton Lefterov)