Bulgaria's Svilengrad Customs Office to Remain FunctionalDomestic | June 8, 2012, Friday // 16:20| views
Despite rumors for the imminent closure of the Svilengrad customs office, the unit will remain functional. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
The customs office in the southern Bulgarian town of Svilengrad will not be closed, according to Irena Uzunova, District Governor of Haskovo.
Uzunova said Friday that she had been authorized by the Finance Minister to announce his decision to the management of the Svilengrad customs office, the municipality and journalists.
In end-May, the Director of the Customs Agency, Vanyo Tanov, said that the customs office in Svilengrad could be closed and its responsibilities transferred to other units.
The statement came after a special police operation codenamed "Customs" held on May 2, which resulted in over 30 arrests of customs officers at Kapitan Andreevo.
Charges were pressed against 8 customs officers, five of them accused of participating in an organized crime group specialized in racketeering and three facing bribery charges.
The latest decision on the matter envisages a three-month monitoring period for customs officers in Svilengrad.
During the period, they will undergo additional training to boost their professional capacity and will be subjected to regular knowledge and skills tests.
Uzunova made clear that the decision was an opportunity for the customs officers in Svlengrad to clean the image of customs offices as a site for corrupt and unprofessional practices.
The Haskovo District Governor stressed that she had insisted on leaving the Svilengrad customs office operational to preserve the jobs in the region.
Svilengrad Mayor Georgi Manolov noted that the closure of the customs unit would have affected 120 families from the town.
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