Crime and safety report on Bulgaria: Sofia is a ‘medium threat location’

Written by on February 23, 2017 in Bulgaria - No comments

The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) from the United States of America has released its latest “Bulgaria 2017 Crime and Safety Report”, which is supposed to help American companies make assessments regarding Bulgaria. Promoting a security cooperation between the American private sector interests worldwide and the State Department in Washington DC is the main aim of the organization.

In that new report on Bulgaria, the capital Sofia is being assessed as a “medium-threat location for crime directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests”. According to the report, Bulgaria is a “relatively stable country” with few specific threats. 

The OSAC report mentions statistics on crime in Bulgaria, according to which 46 per cent of all crime cases were resolved in 2016. That would be an increase of four per cent compared to 2015. Since the year 2000, most incidents involving Americans as victims had to do with ATM skimming, credit card fraud, theft, robbery and car theft. 

In 2016, the number of murders committed in Bulgaria decreased by 2.5 per cent to 155, it says.

The report is warning Americans in Bulgaria to watch they property and homes, by saying thefts from homes and non-violent burglaries were the most frequent form of property crimes. But it also mentions break-ins which happened while the tenants or owners were at home. Robberies in Bulgaria had decreased by 14 per cent and concentrated mainly on Sofia, but also Bourgas, Plovdiv and Varna.

The OSAC also mentions “some bars and nightclubs”, which organized crime had a strong influence on, along with the prostitution business. “Special attention should be paid to drink prices at high-end bars and nightclubs”, it says. There, visitors had been charged “exorbitant prices”, the report reads, sometimes several hundred dollars.

Americans are also being warned of car thieves and their strategies, but also of attacks with explosive devices, which, according to the report, increased from 20 in 2015 to 27 in 2016. Yet another area mentioned in the report is document fraud. Genuine Bulgarian passports, including biometric data specifications, are being sold for 250 euro on Bulgaria’s black market, the OSAC says.

Even road risks are part of the OSAC report. The most frequent road risks faced by Americans in Bulgaria were overcharging by taxi drivers, poor road conditions and aggressive driving.

Regarding terrorism, it says Bulgaria did not provide a safe haven to individual terrorists or terrorist groups. Also, the country was raising its counter-terrorism profile.

The entire report, which also covers religious and ethnic violence, environmental hazards and a lot more, can be found here.






About the Author

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. Please click to support our advertisers!

Leave a Comment