Bulgaria’s Anti-Mafia Tapped Customs Agency Head – Report

The phones of Bulgaria’s Customs Agency Director, Vanyo Tanov, have been tapped for six months, the Bulgarian daily “Trud” reported.
The report said that the secret services have been taping the conversations of the former head of the Specialized Unit for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) as part of an investigation of a smuggling channel.
On November 22, former Interior Minister Rumen Petkov said that Tanov and his family were investigated in March by the Interior Ministry. Later, current Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov denied the accusations that the Customs Agency Director has been investigated.
However, a check from the Bulgarian daily “Trud” showed that Tanov’s telephones were actually tapped. The document had the code name “Father and Son” and has been classified.
The development began in connection to a smuggling channel for clothing from Turkey. One of the main players in the illegal imports mentioned quite often Tanov’s name.
He has been detected saying “I know Tanov,” “It will all be good with the head of the Customs Agency,” ”We have no problems in the Customs Agency,” Trud reported.
These statements made GDBOP request permission for tapping Tanov’s phones for six months.
Throughout that period, the unit found no information that could incriminate their former head in violations and the investigation against him was immediately terminated.
According to analysts, cited by Trud, Tanov was most probably caught in a trap, tailored by former customs officers who were dismissed, had a grudge against him or have been serving the smuggling channel.
The analysts suppose that the name of the Customs Agency Director has been mentioned on purpose, so that he could be discredited.

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