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Bulgaria Probes Alleged Russian Money Laundering Scheme

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Ebenezer Mensah
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Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office says State Agency for National Security tasked to conduct probe

The Bulgarian authorities are investigating allegations that a financial institution in the country has been used to launder Russian money. Sofia City Prosecutor's Office has asked the State Agency for National Security (SANS) to launch an investigation into the claims made by lawmaker Delyan Dobrev.

According to BNN sources, Dobrev accused a Bulgarian bank of violating EU sanctions imposed on Moscow by transferring funds to Russian oligarchs in Europe. The investigation is expected to take up to three months, after which the supervising prosecutor will decide whether enough evidence exists to initiate pretrial proceedings.

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The Allegations And Assessment

According to Dobrev, a reliable source revealed that a Bulgarian bank transferred large sums of money to Hungary, believed to be connected to Russian oligarchs and their interests. Dobrev condemned this act as a violation of sanctions and suggested that the bank's actions will have far-reaching consequences for Sofia's relationship with the EU and the West.

Furthermore, the Bulgarian National Bank denied receiving any reports of such transactions, while the SANS has launched an investigation to determine the legitimacy of the allegations. The investigation will try to determine if the bank had violated EU sanctions and any other relevant regulations.

Also, if the money laundering allegations are true, it could result in significant sanctions against the bank and could also cause a diplomatic row between Bulgaria, the EU, and Russia. The incident could also have implications for other eastern European countries if similar activities are discovered throughout the region.

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