Bulgaria’s anti-organised crime cop alleged to have spied for Russia: Further details

The employee of Bulgaria’s Chief Directorate for Combating Organised Crime alleged to have spied for Russia provided information about Bulgarian and partner security services and agencies, Angel Kunev, the prosecutor overseeing the cases, told a news conference on February 6.

The deputy head of the State Agency for National Security (SANS), Petar Petrov, told the news conference that the suspect in custody had been “in contact” with a SANS employee.

An investigation is continuing into what passed between them and a decision will be made whether to prosecute the SANS staffer.

Petrov said that measures had been taken against the SANS staffer, limiting his access so that there is no risk of leakage of additional information.

“From the very beginning, we have limited the information to which the suspect had access,” Petrov said.

The suspect, taken into custody on February 5, has been on the Interior Ministry payroll since 1993, when he joined the National Security Service.

In the year leading up to his arrest, the suspect had been employed in the international cooperation and projects division, where he had access to some but not all classified information, which he passed on to Russian intelligence services. Some of the information related to investigations into attempts to circumvent sanctions on Russia.

It it being investigated how he got hold of information to which he did not have access, and whether he had an accomplice in the Interior Ministry.

The investigation into the suspect began in mid-2023.

Sofia city prosecutor Iliyana Kirilova said that the whole time, the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office had been working in co-ordination with SANS and the Chief Directorate for Combating Organised Crime.

Kunev told the news conference: “We are intensively collecting evidence, we are questioning witnesses”.

An application for the suspect to be remanded in custody pending trial would be lodged in court as soon as possible, Kunev said.

Petrov rejected as inaccurate media reports that the investigation was the result of a signal from foreign intelligence services.

(Archive photo: Interior Ministry)

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