Bulgarian "Cigarette" Gang Kept under Permanent Detention

Crime | July 2, 2012, Monday // 09:37|  views

Customs officer Georgi Vladimirov - Fozi and his group smuggled more than 22 million cigarettes in 2011 Photo by ross.bg

The businessman from the Black Sea city of Varna and the head of the Customs checkpoint "Oltomantsi" who were arrested during a special police operation, codenamed "The Cigarette Dealers," are to remain under permanent detention.

Varna businessman Borislav Mandzhukov and Customs head Georgi Vladimirov AKA Fozi were busted Thursday in a special operation against an organized crime group dealing with large-scale cigarette contraband. It was conducted in Varna and the capital Sofia. The group is suspected of smuggling over 22 million pieces of cigarettes in 2011, inflicting damages to the State treasury estimated at BGN 8 M.

The special anti-mafia tribunal has now imposed the strongest measure for them and four other alleged members of the group – permanent detention.

Fozi and Mandzhukov, along with five other people, are charged with large-scale smuggling. One of them has been released on a BGN 10 000 bail. The gang members have long rap sheets for theft, robberies, fraud, contraband and tax evasion.

Mandzhukov, who is known as the owner of several bars and nightclubs in Varna, has 48 pending cases, mostly for fraud. Fozi has been fired as Customs head of the "Gyueshevo" checkpoint and later reinstated at the job by the Court.

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Tags: Customs head, businessman, arrested, Varna, sofia, special police operation, organized crime, cigarettes, cigarette, contraband, smuggling


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