SANS, the Ministry of Interior and the Prosecutor’s Office have neutralized a criminal group, specialized in the illegal transfer of migrants and arms trafficking, which is organized and managed by Iraqis

A specialized operation on the part of the State Agency for National Security /SANS/, the Ministry of Interior and the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office was conducted on 01.12.2016, and it was aimed towards neutralizing the activity of an organized criminal group, specialized in the illegal transfer of migrants and the illegal possession and trafficking of arms.

Three Iraqi citizens of Kurdish origin were detained – the leader of the group, who also has a Turkish citizenship; a person with a humanitarian status in Bulgaria; and a person, who is illegally residing on the territory of our country.

The Specialized Criminal Court has imposed a supervision measure on the three of them to be taken under custody on December 3rd. Among the motives of the Court for imposing permanent detention on the participants in the group is the fact that they pose a threat to national security.

The pre-trial proceeding against the group was initiated in July 2016. It has been established in the course of the investigation that the group comprises twenty participants and some of them are outside country and are currently unidentified.

The leader of the group, aided by persons from Turkey, recruited migrants from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, organized their illegal transfer through the Turkish-Bulgarian border /most frequently in the region of Malko Tarnovo/, their transportation inside the country, their accommodation in lodgings as well as the preparation for their transfer towards Western Europe through Romania and Serbia.

The activities for the transport, accommodation and the transfer of the migrants westwards were organized by the other two detainees from the group. Some of the migrants were provided with fake identity documents. The cost of the “service” was $ 500 each and the money was transferred from Turkey to the leader of the criminal group.

We have collected pieces of evidence that the three detainees were also involved in the trafficking of firearms and that they performed violent actions in the course of their criminal activity.

The pieces of evidence on the case are also supported by witness testimony and by the results from the applied special intelligence means.

The work on the case continues.