As a result of a joint operation of the Republic of Bulgaria, France and Germany, a Bulgarian criminal network, which has been involved in activities related to soliciting to prostitution and human trafficking, has been neutralized

On 03.07.2018, during a joint operation, SANS, Ministry of Interior (MoI) and National Investigation Service (NIS) officials, under the guidance of and supervision of the Oryahovo Regional Prosecutor’s Office (ORPO), conducted activities for neutralizing a criminal network involved in activities related to soliciting to prostitution and human trafficking.

Pre-trial proceedings were initiated on the case on which the investigation was tasked to the NIS by the Chief Prosecutor.

Twenty searches in Bulgaria (in the cities of Sofia, Pleven and Bourgas), in Germany (in the cities of Kel and Offenburg) as well as in France (in the suburbs of the city of Annecy) were conducted in parallel.

Five individuals were detained in Bulgaria, three in Germany and two in France.

During the investigation it has been established that since 2015 to date, dozens of young women from Bulgaria have arrived in Eastern France near the German border, who were promised some work, but instead were forced to prostitute.

Based on the information provided by the Internal Security Service to the Embassy of the Republic of France in Bulgaria, the Prosecutor’s Office in Strasbourg initiated a preliminary investigation.

Taking into account the scope of the criminal network activities and for the purposes of tracing the financial flows, in the investigation were involved competent bodies from France, Germany and Bulgaria.

With the Eurojust support, a joint investigation team was established, which included officials of the Interregional Special Court in Nancy, the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation of the Republic of Bulgaria as well as the Oryahovo Regional Prosecutor’s Office which is the competent body taking into account the origin of the majority of female victims of that kind of criminal activity.