Bulgaian MoI announce successful operation against human traffickers

The joint investigation was conducted by officers of the CDCOC, DGCP and SANS, under the supervision of the prosecution. It started after information obtained in SANS about an organized criminal group for transferring migrants across the Turkish-Bulgarian border and subsequently across the Bulgarian-Serbian border. The information concerned several people of Afghan origin, as well as Bulgarian citizens, said Tsvetan Tsvetanov, director of the SANS directorate. 

Following the signal, the GDCOP and GDGP launched an investigation into joint teams, which lasted more than a year. Under the supervision of the prosecutor’s office, a specialized police operation was carried out on September 16, as a result of which an organized criminal group for illegal trafficking in migrants was neutralized and detained, explained the director of the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime. Commissioner Kalin Stoyanov. 

The operation was conducted on the territory of Sofia and the districts – Ruse and Haskovo. Seven participants in the criminal activity – Bulgarian and Afghan citizens – were detained. It was established that the group has been operating since November 2020 on the territory of the Republic of Turkey and in our country, was very well structured, operated under a strict hierarchy and each of them had a specific task in the chain. 

The organizer is an Afghan citizen. Hundreds of helpers of the group were also found, who distributed, accommodated and hid the migrants, and they were probably paid for that. According to the information, the average amount for transferring a migrant from Afghanistan to a western country varied between 8 and 10,000 euros. were probably paid for it. 

Chief Commissioner Deyan Mollov pointed out that the result of the joint police operation proves the perseverance with which the services work to counteract the illegal trafficking of migrants. He specified that these joint actions are carried out with each signal and acquired information. As an example, he pointed out that a Bulgarian citizen who had transferred foreigners across the border had been detained during the last 24 hours.

The specialized prosecutor’s office has indicted four of the detainees – two Afghans and two Bulgarians – and the supervising prosecutor has ordered detention for up to 72 hours. The Specialized Prosecutor’s Office is expected to submit requests to the Specialized Criminal Court on September 18 for a remand in custody.