Bulgarian customs officers found 93.6kg of heroin, separated into 184 packages, during an inspection of a Bulgarian-registered lorry at the Danube Bridge checkpoint in Rousse, a statement by the Prosecutor’s Office on November 18 said.
A briefing on the find was held by Customs Agency head Georgi Kostov, Deputy Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev, Rousse District Prosecutor’s Office prosecutor Andrei Angelov and Interior Ministry chief secretary Ivailo Ivanov.
The lorry arrived at Danube Bridge at 9.20am on November 17. The statement said that as a resultof a risk analysis, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate-General staff conducted a thorough search.
The substance, confirmed by a field drug test to be heroin, was found in a double floor in the cargo compartment of the lorry. At the time of the check, the lorry was “empty”.
The driver, a 56-year-old Bulgarian citizen, was charged under the Criminal Code and taken into 72-hour custody. Prosecutors will seek a court order remanding him in custody pending the outcome of a trial.
If found guilty, the accused faces imprisonment of 15 to 20 years and a fine from 100 000 to 300 000 leva (about 50 000 to 150 000 euro).
Angelov said that initial estimates were that the consignment of heroin was worth more than 3.6 million leva. The heroin was said to be of relatively high purity.
Custom Agency chief Kostov said that the check was carried out by a customs officer with more than 25 years of experience, who noticed a discrepancy in the structure of the vehicle and that work had been done on the chassis floor of the lorry.
Interior Ministry chief secretary Ivanov said that investigations were continuing and further developments were expected.
He said that the heroin had been heading to countries in Western Europe.
“We are working with affiliate services, so we will expect results in other areas soon,” he said.
(Photo: Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office)