Bulgaria arrests 12 for illegal exports of dual-use goods to Russia in breach of EU sanctions

Twelve people have been arrested in Bulgaria for illegally exporting dual-use goods to Russia for soldiers from that country to use in its war on Ukraine, a briefing on October 10 was told.

Five of those arrested were foreign citizens, including three Russians, a Belarusian and an Albanian, Interior Ministry chief secretary Zhivko Kotsev said.

Plamen Tonchev, the head of the State Agency for National Security said that the agency had received information about the export of goods with possible dual use.

“A complex network of illegal supplies was revealed,” Tonchev said.

The network has been operating on the territory of Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Veliko Turnovo since the beginning of 2021.

At the core of the network were Russian citizens who financed the supplies. They are not permanent residents of Bulgaria.

The deliveries went through different companies, one of which is based in Plovdiv. The goods were sent to Plovdiv, where they were repackaged, then transported to Sofia and from there via the airport to Russia. The turnover was more than four million leva (about two million euro).

The weapons were not for the regular Russian army, but for the special forces operating on the territory of Ukraine.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Maria Pavlova said that the equipment exported include various types of dual-use goods including optical sights and aviation radio equipment.

(Archive photo: Interior Ministry press centre)

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