During a large scale operation of SANS, GDCOC-MoI and the Prosecutor’s Office an illegal network for money transactions using the hawala method was neutralized

On 18 January 2019 officials of the State Agency for National Security (SANS) and GDCOC-MoI, under the guidance and the supervision of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office, carried out actions for neutralizing the activity of a group of foreign citizens responsible for organizing and conducting, on Bulgarian territory, large amounts illegal money transfers using hawala within an international organized criminal group.

The operation has been carried out on the territory of the cities of Sofia, Pleven, Blagoevgrad, Razgrad, Haskovo, Plovdiv and Lovech.

A criminal prosecution has been initiated for crimes under Chapter I of the Criminal Code (crimes against the Republic).

Checks and searches have been carried out to more than 50 addresses. Documents, money and other objects in relation to the investigation have been confiscated.

For a period up to 24 hours 43 individuals have been detained – Bulgarian and foreign citizens.

It has been established that the main leader of the criminal activity – Syrian citizen residing in Bulgaria and detained in Sofia, has entered in contact to individuals involved in logistic support to international terrorist organizations, as well as with individuals on whom there is information indicating their involvement in terrorism financing and other criminal activities.

The operation has been preceded by a year of joint work of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office and the Bulgarian and partner services.

The work on the case is ongoing.