FinMin Rewards 'Excelling' Bulgarian Customs with 30 New Cars

Finance | October 5, 2012, Friday // 15:51|  views

Bulgarian Customs Agency head Vanyo Tanov (left) and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov (right) on Friday as the Customs Agency got new cross-country cars. Photo by Customs Agency

Bulgaria's Customs Agency has performed better than any other Bulgarian state institution in the past three years, according to Finance Minister and Deputy PM Simeon Djankov.

Djankov presented Customs Agency head Vanyo Tanov on Friday with 30 new cross-country vehicles for his institution as a means of reward to be utilized by the Customs Intelligence and Customs Investigation Directorates.

In Djankov's words, the Bulgarian Customs have become an exemplary government body in just three years – apparently, since the center-right Cabinet of PM Boyko Borisov and the GERB party took over in 2009.

He praised the customs officers for putting in an enormous amount of work and efforts as well as utilizing large-scale investments to achieve their present results.

Among the investments, Djankov emphasized the fact that over 2000 customs officials were trained in 3 years, which he outlined as an unprecedented achievement.

"That is why their work is growing each year. It's getting harder and harder to execute but Vanyo Tanov and his team do manage that, which is why any time they ask for something, I think it is reasonable and I defend it," he stated.

As the Customs Agency is subordinate to Djankov as the Finance Minister, in the past three years it has been part of a simmering inter-institutional conflict between Djankov and the other Deputy PM, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, and his officials.

This conflict was especially exposed in early 2011, in the so called Tapegate, or Tanovgate, when the anti-government weekly Galeria leaked tapes of conversations between Bulgaria's top officials, including Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, and Customs Agency Head Vanyo Tanov.

Speaking on Friday upon accepting the new cross-country vehicles, Tanov explained they will be used by mobile units of three customs officers each so that they can reach even largely inaccessible locations around Bulgaria for their inspections.

"That's how we will be able to react faster and become more efficient," he added, referring especially to crimes connected with excise tax evasion.

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Tags: finance minister, Simeon Djankov, deputy pm, Customs Agency, customs agents, Vanyo Tanov, customs officers, cross-country vehicle, Tapegate, Tanovgate


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