Corrupt Bulgaria Veterinarian Head Faces 15 Years in Jail

Crime | November 6, 2009, Friday // 19:18|  views

Dr. Leonid Lavchev is facing blackmailing charges as he has been racketeering dairy producers around the country.

The Deputy Director of Bulgaria’s National Veterinary-Medical Service, Leonid Lavchev, who was arrested Friday, has been charged with blackmailing.

Thus, Lavchev faces between 5 and 15 years in jail, and a fine of up to BGN 500 000. Earlier on Friday Bulgaria’s Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, said Lavchev demanded and received two bribes of BGN 1 000 from a private dairy farm in the southern city of Haskovo. Lavchev has sent a special person to collect the bribes.

The Interior Ministry also said they had information that Lavchev had been racketeering dairy farms all around the country for quite a while, and that this was not his first time.

“This is part of our fight against corruption because such administrators harass the small firms and the people who produce anything in Bulgaria. The so called licensing of the dairy farms is going on right now, and this is one of the ways in which they get racketeered,” said Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

According to Prosecutor Pavel Zhekov, who is in charge of the case, Lavchev has threatened the owner of the dairy farm near Haskovo with revoking his license for business activity through constant inspections and made-up violations.

Bulgaria’s Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, who alerted Tsvetanov about Lavchev’s racketeering attempts, said he got the information from the Veterinary Service Director Yordan Voynov.

The dairy farm blackmailed by Lavchev is called “Tonus”. It is one of the largest in the region of Haskovo, and is located in the village of Konush. Lavchev has been transported to Haskovo where he will be interrogated over the case.

Agriculture and Interior Ministers have stated they would have zero tolerance for such cases of abuse of power and corruption.

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Tags: Tsvetan Tsvetanov, National Veterinary-Medical Service, arrest, interior ministry, dairy farm, racketeering, blackmail, Leonid Lavchev, veterinarian arrest, haskovo


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