Bulgaria Anti-Mafia Police Successfully Deploys Female Undercover Agents

Crime | January 10, 2012, Tuesday // 16:08|  views

Photo by dariknews.bg

Bulgarian anti-mafia forces deploy women as undercover agents in operations against the crime world, said Valentin Trifonov, Deputy Director of the Chief Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP).

In Trifonov's words, as cited by 24 Hours daily, women do no worse than men at this job.

According to the deputy head of the anti-mafia unit, the number of agents used to infil­trate orga­nized crim­e groups doubled in a year, reaching 58 in 2011.

Trifonov argues that over 80% of the operations involving a secret agent lead to solved cases.

Infiltrators are most often used to investigate crime rings specialized in drugs, human trafficking, counterfeiting, illegal arms dealing.

According to data of the Risk Monitor NGO, 32 operations involving undercover agents were conducted in 2009, 18 of which triggered court action.

In 2010, a total of 36 secret agents infiltrated crime groups, with 15 of them deployed in operations of GDBOP and 21 in operations of the Interior Ministry, the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and the prosecution.

Bulgarian undercover agents have participated in international operations.

The "Undercover Agent" unit at GDBOP has been in operation since 2005, when it had a total headcount of 7.

The first operation involving an undercover agent was conducted in end-2007.

The deployment of an undercover agent is the least popular form of surveillance, according to Risk Monitor.

The method is used in as little as 1% of the cases involving special surveillance devices, while wiretapping devices are used in 65% of these investigations.

The scant popularity of deploying secret agents can be attributed to the high cost of the method and the increased complexity.

Undercover stints are voluntary and the agents are free to withdraw and remain regular officials of the Interior.

There has so far been no case of an exposed undercover agent or of an agent transferred to another residential area after a successful operation.

To boost the potential of this method of investigation,Trifonov recommends that the statutory duration of such stints be increased beyond the current 6 months, especially in large-scale and complex anti-mafia operations.

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Tags: special surveillance devices, interior ministry, GDBOP, anti-mafia, undercover, crime ring


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