Bulgaria’s Appellate Special Criminal Court has upheld an application by prosecutors to remand in custody five people accused of financing terrorism outside Bulgaria, as well as other crimes.
The January 29 ruling by the court was a sequel to a January 18 announcement that 43 people had been held in an operation against illicit currency transactions to finance terrorism outside the country. It was announced at the time of the bust that the group was headed by a Syrian national.
The court accepted the arguments of the Appellate Prosecutor’s Office that there was a reasonable presumption that the accused had committed the crimes and they could be at risk of committing further crimes. Two of the accused were deemed to be flight risks.
The participants in the alleged crime group were held in an operation involving Bulgaria’s State Agency for National Security, the anti-organised crime directorate and the Special Prosecutor’s Office, in Sofia, Pleven, Blagoevgrad, Razgrad, Haskovo, Plovdiv and Lovech.
Acting on a warrant from the Special Criminal Court, search-and-seizure operations were carried out at 50 addresses, with searches of 26 cars and 50 people.
The operation was preceded by a year-long investigation by the Special Prosecutor’s Office, assisted by the security services of Bulgaria and partner security services from other European Union countries.
The ruling by the Appellate Court is final and is not subject to appeal, a January 29 statement by the Prosecutor’s Office said.