Bulgaria: Joint Operation Dismantles Laundering Ring

Published: 21 May 2012


A group laundering profits from the trade of South American narcotics has been dismantled by Bulgaria’s anti-organized crime police and the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry announced.

Six men have been arrested in the operation, codenamed “The Launderers,” and charged with money laundering.  A total of BGN 2 million (US$ 1.3 million) of their assets has been seized.


Prosecutors say money came from bank accounts in the Antilles, Venezuela, and Panama andwas sent to Bulgarian accounts and then wired immediately to China, Hong Kong, Spain, and the United States.  Authorities estimate that at least BGN 5 million (US$ 3.3 million) was laundered by the network.


Bulgaria’s Unit for Combatting Organized Crime, GDBOP, and the US DEA raided three addresses in the capital Sofia and confiscated bank statements and business documents in addition to computers and cell phones.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office for Organized crime has pressed charges on five of the six detainees, and says charges will be brought against two more people, including the organizer of the group, once they are extradited.