The EU Security Union Commissioner Julian King visits the Bulgarian Passenger information Unit

On 26 January 2018 the EU Security Union Commissioner Julian King visited the National Passenger Information Unit (PIU) for Collection and Processing of Passenger Name Record (PNR) Data in the Republic of Bulgaria, located at the State Agency for National Security (SANS), and one of the first functional in the European Union (EU). He was welcomed by the SANS Chairman, Dimitar Georgiev, and the Deputy Chairman, Nikolay Nenkov.

Formally, the Unit became operational on 8 December 2017. Currently, the PIU is properly staffed and equipped to carry out its mission and tasks. It has received financial support from the European Commission.

During the visit, Commissioner King was informed about the progress achieved by Bulgaria in the implementation of the Directive (EU) 2016/681 of the European Parliament and the Council of April 27th 2016 on use of PNR data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.

The EU Security Union Commissioner welcomed the importance the Presidency of the Republic of Bulgaria of the Council of the EU is giving to the full implementation of the PNR Directive given its deadline of 25 May 2018. He pointed out that it is a crucial instrument in the EU response to the threat of terrorism and serious transnational organized crime.

Commissioner King encouraged SANS experts to share their experience and good practices with partners from other Member States, still working on the establishment of national PIUs.

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The Chairman of the State Agency for National Security meets the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator

On 25 January 2018 the State Agency for National Security (SANS) Chairman, Mr. Dimitar Georgiev, and the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Mr. Gilles de Kerchove, discussed the current terrorism related challenges and threats, including radicalization trends and foreign terrorist fighters’ cross-border travels as well as irregular migration issues. Another topic of discussions was the security situation in Western Balkan countries.

After the meeting, Mr. Gilles de Kerchove visited the National Counterterrorism Center, operational 24/7, and located at SANS.

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A joint operation of SANS, the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and the Specialized Prosecution Office was conducted aimed to neutralize international scheme for financial frauds and money laundering

On 17-18.01.2018, a specialized operation involving officials from the State Agency for National Security (SANS) and the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime – Ministry of Interior, under the leadership and control of the Specialized  Prosecution Office, aimed at neutralizing of pyramid structure of large dimensions dealing with commercial frauds, progressive customer recruitment and money laundering through creation and distribution of virtual currency OneCoin, was conducted.

The operation was initiated in connection with an International request for legal assistance issued by a prosecutor’s office of EU member state.

House searches of 14 addresses and seizures were made in the course of investigation.

The work on the case is in progress.

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