Bulgarian special prosecutors and the anti-organised crime squad confiscated the equivalent of about 1.7 million leva in cash from two doctors involved in a scheme to get disability pensions for people who were in good health, the Interior Ministry said on February 19.
The ministry said that a six-member organised crime group was taken into custody in an operation in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Varna on February 17 and 18.
Five of the group were doctors, including a chairman of a territorial expert medical commission – which has authority in the granting of disability pensions – and the sixth was the brother of one of the doctors, a Bulgarian of Syrian origin, the Interior Ministry said.
Surveillance of the group began in May 2018.
Over the course of four months, more than 200 people had been found to have got disability payment eligibility illegally.
The ministry said that the two brothers played the role of mediators, assisting fully healthy people to get disability pensions and other payments, in return for bribes of 1500 to 2000 leva.
Thirty-one witnesses were questioned in the course of the investigation, the ministry said.
(Photos: Interior Ministry press centre)