Bulgaria: Train Worker Busted for Smuggling Heroin

Published: 05 November 2013


Bulgarian authorities say they have uncovered another Turkey-Bulgaria drug trafficking channel.

Novinite.com reports that a ticket collector with the initials “K.S.” is accused of transporting five kilograms of high-purity heroin in his luggage. Police say he was returning from Turkey on a Sofia-Istanbul train, and was caught following a tip-off to the transit police.

This discovery comes on the tail of a record-breaking heroin bust in late October, when the Bulgarian customs agency seized more than 70 kilograms of heroin at a checkpoint. According to FOCUS Information Agency, a Bulgarian national had 140 packages of the drug hidden in his car’s secret compartments. He was hauling more than US$6 million dollars worth of heroin to Bulgaria from Turkey.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, heroin is not often seized in the Balkans, “suggesting that the route is very well organized and lubricated with corruption.” The report adds that most heroin in the Balkan region passes through Bulgaria, which has a record of irregular heroin seizures despite fairly steady heroin trafficking flows.

FOCUS Information Agency reports that Bulgarians use double the rate of amphetamines as other nationals in European Union member states, and cites heroin abuse as a significant problem in the country. More than 170 kilograms of drugs have been seized in the past few months, much of which has been heroin.