Jurgen Roth: Bulgaria Fails in Countering White Collar Crime

Society | September 28, 2010, Tuesday // 12:27|  views

German journalist Jurgen Roth accuses Bulgarian authorities of not wanting to really fight organized business crime and being close with some of the country's oligarchs. Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian cabinet failed to counter organized crime groups and the so-called oligarchs known to be connected to power circles around now Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov," German journalist Jurgen Roth, says.

Roth, who is on trial for slander in Bulgaria for the publishing of his book about organized crime, "The New Bulgarian Demons," spoke Monday evening during a special conference in Brussels, organized by the Hans Seidel Foundation. Bulgaria's Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, also took part in the forum. Tsvetanov is on an official visit to the Belgium capital.

"The authorities in Bulgaria are far from doing enough to fight organized business crime, despite progress in several sectors, Roth stated, adding he had sent Borisov an open letter asking him to take measures against economic crimes, but is yet to see any results.

"Is is interesting that even the Customs Agents Director, Vanyo Tanov accused one of these groups – the Varna-based TIM - of money laundering and organized business crime and there are still no consequences," the German journalist pointed out.

Tsvetanov replied explaining that after the fall of Communism, many crime groups were created in Bulgaria, which were left undisturbed and were later able to legalize their businesses making the process of their dismantling difficult and complex.

"Because of that I cannot commit to any deadlines, but I can assure you, everyone violating Bulgarian laws would be probed and would face justice. I am not intimidated by anyone, but would steer away from some fixations about particular groups or individuals, before we have enough evidence and proof," the Minister declared in response.

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Tags: Jurgen Roth, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Brussels, Brussels visit, official visit, official trip, Hans Seidel Foundation, TIM, business crime, organized crime, economic crime, Vanyo Tanov, Boyko Borisov


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