Bulgaria’s Special Prosecutor’s Office has so far laid criminal charges against six people following a bust of an organised crime group that had sent more than 25 million euro to terrorist organisations over four years, the spokesperson for the Prosecutor-General’s office said on January 19.
Of the six accused, one has been indicted in absentia and an international arrest warrant issued for him, Roumyana Arnaudova told Bulgarian National Television.
Five of the accused are Syrian citizens, all residents of Bulgaria, three with permanent residence and the others with temporary residence. The sixth is a Bulgarian woman who lives in Sofia.
The crime group had been operating in Bulgaria since 2016 and had indirectly financed a terrorist organisation operating in another state, she said.
The financing was carried out through non-bank financial transactions using the “Hawala method“.
The group also bought more than 100 cars in Bulgaria and transported them through Turkey to Syria. These cars were provided to members of terrorist organisations.
The indictments include the preparation of terrorist attacks in foreign countries.
The operation to bust the group was unprecedented for Bulgaria’s law enforcement and security services in terms of the scale and subject of the investigation, Arnaudova said.
Forty-three people were held in the operation, the Prosecutor’s Office said on January 18. The operation followed a year-long investigation involving Bulgarian security services and security services from European Union partner countries.
On January 18, Deputy Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev said that the amounts for the terrorist organisations had been directed abroad and did not represent a domestic terrorist threat within Bulgaria.
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