Police bust international tax evasion ring amidst continuing unrest on Bulgarian city streets
Bulgarian Police busted a tax evasion ring centered on the export of chicken meat from Poland and Romania, a Sofia news agency, reported June 23.
“The network engaged in registering fake deals with chicken meat imported from within the EU (Poland and Romania),” the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior Chief Secretary Svetlozar Lazarov told the Focus News Agency.
The scam has already cost the Bulgarian state some BGN 1 mln. Three individuals were arrested, and the police stated that more arrests may follow.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria continues to be plagued by anti-government demonstrations. The largest protests are taking place in the country’s capital Sofia, where thousands of people, headed by a disgruntled group of intellectuals and human rights activists, are demanding that the government resign.
The demonstrations are the result of a recent decision to appoint controversial entrepreneur and DPS party member Delyan Peevski for the post of national security chief. Those heading the protests are demanding an end to nepotism and cronyism within the country’s power structures.
“The Peevski case laid bare the growing seizure of the political system, media, justice, security and banking sectors by a network of hidden dependencies that do not respect the rule of law and separation of powers, empties the institutions from democratic legitimacy and substitutes public interest for corruption and moral degradation,” a charter drawn up by the protestors reads, according to Focus News Agency.
The protests resulted in the withdrawal of Delyan Peevski’s nomination for the security chief post, by Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski. This has not stopped the protesters, however, who are now calling for Oresharski to step down.
Oresharski heads a coalition between the Bulgarian Socialist Party and ethnic Turk Movement (DPS), set up after snap elections held in May. The early elections were the result of the mass resignation of the former GERB-led government, which was forced to step down following mass protests and huge public unrest across the country.
Recent polls have shown that only some 23 percent of the population backs the new government, according to Novinite.com.