Bulgarian PM, Europol Head Note Successful Cooperation in Fight Against Contraband

Bulgaria in EU | July 8, 2016, Friday // 18:56|  views

The Director of Europol, Rob Wainwright (left) shakes hands with Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov (R), during his visit in Sofia in October 2010. Photo by BGNES

In a telephone conversation held on Friday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Director of Europol Rob Wainwright discussed the latest operations on countering contraband.

Bulgarian law enforcement agencies had actively contributed both in the organisation and conduct of the operations.

Borisov informed Wainwright of the record quantity of 200 kilogrammes of high quality heroin seized by Bulgarian authorities at the Lesovo checkpoint on the border with Turkey earlier this week.

The heroin was concealed in Iranian truck loaded with tomato puree tin cans. This was the largest quantity of heroin busted in the past five years.

Borisov identified the operation as the latest example of the excellent communication between Bulgaria's prosecutor's office, customs agency and the interior ministry.

The Bulgarian prime minister highlighted that the enhanced cooperation between Bulgarian law enforcement agencies and their European partners and Europol has led to the achievement of excellent results in the transnational fight against contraband.

The two also discussed the successful joint Bulgarian-Spanish police operation which busted three Bulgarian-run illegal factories for cigarettes operating on the territory of Spain.

The operation was conducted by the General Directorate Countering Organised Crime (GDBOP) of Bulgaria's interior ministry and the Spanish law enforcement bodies in close cooperation with Europol.

Wainwright highlighted that the operation demonstrated the success of Bulgarian law enforcement agencies in the fight against contraband at European level.

According to him, the measures taken by Bulgaria have forced the organised crime groups to relocate their activities from Bulgaria to other European countries.

Wainwright pointing to the successful joint operations in Poland and Spain and thanked for the contribution of Bulgarian authorities.

Borisov informed him of the results from the latest study of tobacco companies conducted by the Initiative against illegal trade, which showed record drop in the share of illegally traded cigarettes to 8 %.

The Bulgarian prime minister also pointed that due to the good coordination with the Countering Contraband Bureau, BGN 2.5 B more have been collected in revenues compared to last year.

Borisov and Wainwright assured that the joint work on the priorities identified together with Europol and Bulgaria's European partners will continue.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov, Europol, contraband, Rob Wainwright, heroin, cigarettes, Spain, GDBOP


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