Bulgaria Promises More Kidnap Gangs Arrests, Probes Policemen

Crime | December 23, 2009, Wednesday // 09:46|  views

Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said possible links between current and former policemen to the groups for kidnappings are being investigated. Photo by BGNES

After two successful special operations codenamed “The Impudent” against gangs who planned and executing high-profile kidnappings in Bulgaria, police has said more arrests are to come.

“We are probing possible links between current and former officials from the Interior Ministry to the groups for kidnappings, whose members were arrested in the first two stages of the operation,” Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said on Wednesday in the morning broadcast of the private bTV channel.

He added that “there are already certain clues”, but refused to disclose details, citing security reasons.

Five more members of the high-profile kidnappers’ gang were arrested by the Bulgarian police Tuesday morning in a continuation of the special operation codenamed “The Impudent”.

“The Impudent 2” operation was a follow-up of the one from December 17 when 25 members of the gang responsible for over a dozen abductions in Bulgaria in the last two years were arrested.

During the operation the police forces searched the premises of the newly arrested men in Sofia and discovered one more house equipped to keep kidnapped people for ransom, bringing the total number of such houses to four.

On Saturday, December 19, 2009, the Sofia City Court ruled to leave in jail five members of the gang who are believed to be its leaders. Those are Ivaylo Evtimov, aka Yozhi; Prokopi Prokopiev, aka the Bodybuilder, Anton Petrov, aka the Hamster, Lyubomir Simeonov, aka the Rower, and Daniel Dimitrov, aka the Relay.

Nikolay Kokinov, the Sofia City Prosecutor, explained that the other detainees had been released on bail on Saturday evening, and had only provided the authorities with "valuable information".

The magistrate noted that the detainees in the follow-up operation "The Impudent 2" on Tuesday morning were the brothers Radoslav and Dimitar Lebeshkovski, along with Kiril Kirilov and Pavel Petkov.

Bulgaria’s Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, stated that latest detainee was a security guard, and that there was evidence that he had prepared and submitted information on a new potential kidnap victim.

In the special operation “The Impudent 2“, one police officer was shot and injured as one of the gangsters resisted the arrest and fire at the special forces.

The five newly arrested kidnappers are currently being held for 72 hours.

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Tags: The Impudent, kidnappings, gangster, The Rower, confessions, special operation, police


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