The details for the special operation were given by the Prosecutor’s office spokesman Siika Mileva, the prosecutor of the current case Kalin Bliznakov, the deputy head of General Directorate Combating Organized Crime (GDCOC) senior commissar Lyubomir Yanev and the head of Migration Directorate in the State Agency for National Security (DANS) Tsvetan Tsvetanov. All of them under the observance of the Prosecutors office were in action in Svilengrad, Sofia and Bourgass following the operation of the European police and Prosecutor’s office “Halifax” in 2017.
17 people were detained. Accusations are brought against 8 of them – 2 Bulgarians, a man from Iraq, another one from Syria and 4 people from Afghanistan. The rummages of 40 addresses and cars, a big amount of money, drugs and notes with the names of debtors were found.
There was a strict hierarchy in the organized crime group under the leadership of the Iraqi man. Everyone had his particular role – transport, accommodation, food provision for the migrants, taking them out of the country, as well as finding finances for the crime itself. The organized crime group took 30-40 people weekly from Turkey through Bulgaria to Serbia, where other sewerage workers gave them transport to Western Europe. The migrants are no older than 16 years old, in most of the cases, without personal documents, except for the times when whole families were transported.
Migrants were taken through the so called green borders – thick set woodlands – with a threat for their lives. From 2017 on they were trafficked from Kabul, Afghanistan. Their leader has taken migrants from there through Turkey where they met another person to transport them through Maritza River to Bulgaria. Here they have been transported in special buses and accommodated in illegal places in the districts of Orlandovtsi and Fakulteta in Sofia. The migrants stayed here for no more than 2 days and then were moved to Serbia on their way to Western Europe. The price for the whole organization was 8 000 to 10 000 euro per person through the “havala” method – no banks or financial institutions, no commission or taxes, no change in the currency. Money was given to confidential man – havildar – who gives a password in return. Some of the men engaged with the criminal organization are married for Bulgarian women.
The success of the operation is owed to the cooperation of GDCOC, DANS and the Prosecutor’s office together with international police cooperation including the United Arab Emirates specialized bodies.