Bulgaria: Customs Agency Head Petya Bankova Accused of Involvement in Organized Crime Group

Crime | April 4, 2024, Thursday // 16:35|  views

The head of Bulgaria's "Customs" agency, Petya Bankova, faces charges of participating in an organized criminal group (OCG), according to her lawyer Adelina Natina. Natina revealed the charges after leaving the Fifth Police Department in Sofia.

Bankova, along with three other individuals, is accused of involvement in the OCG. Natina clarified that Bankova claims not to know the other participants in the group. Bankova is expected to be detained for 72 hours pending a court hearing on the matter. Yesterday she was targeted in an operation by the police, gendarmerie, and the State Agency "National Security" (SANS).

Informal conversations between Natina and employees of the Anti-Corruption Commission suggest that a search was conducted at the residence of Zhivko Kotsev, the former Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who resigned earlier today.

Natina criticized the accusation against Bankova, describing it as "full of factual errors." Bankova herself hinted yesterday that her arrest was linked to the political climate in Bulgaria.

The developments surrounding Bankova's arrest come amidst heightened political tension in the country, raising questions about the motives behind the charges and their potential impact on the wider political landscape.

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Tags: Customs Agency, bankova, OCG, Bulgaria


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