165 Kg Drugs Intercepted at Kalotina Border Checkpoint in January-August

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Nearly 165 kg of drugs, mainly heroin, have been intercepted at Kalotina checkpoint (on the Bulgarian-Serbian border) for the first eight months of 2007, according to data provided by the customs officers at the checkpoint, BTA reported.

A total of 333 memoranda of violations have been drawn up for the same period, including 278 concerning cigarettes, and 181,479 packs were intercepted. Receipts for relinquishment in favor of the state were issued for another 276,480 packs. Mobile teams intercepted 49,259 packs of cigarettes in the vicinity of the checkpoint.

Officers have also detained some 7 kg of gold, more than 3 kg of silver and memoranda attesting to attempts at smuggling antiques numbered five, with another eight concerning arms. More than 30,000 bottles of perfume were discovered in attempts at smuggling. Counterfeit foreign currency to the amount of 13,250 euro and 300 dollars was also intercepted.

Customs officers and border police have conducted 1,455 detailed checks, bringing them to the conclusion that last year was more active from the point of view of drug trafficking.

There is a sharp increase in the flow of transit passengers passing through the checkpoint - both Bulgarians and citizens of European states, while there is a noticeable decline in the
flow of Serbs because of the visa regime introduced on January 1 this year.

From January 1 to date the officers have checked 343,226 motor vehicles and 1,010,188 individuals - persons and vehicles that are not from the EU or have been checked by the method of risk analysis. Control was also exercised over 1,331 trains and
95,248 passengers in them.

In 2006 border police reported checking more than a million and a half Bulgarians and more than two million foreigners. More than 304,000 and vehicles with Bulgarian registration and nearly 720,000 foreign ones passed though the checkpoint.

A total of 2,864,668 persons passed through the five checkpoints subordinate to the border sector in Dragoman in January-August 2006, compared to 1,841,505 for the same period this year. Vehicles numbered 793,236 for 2006 and 580,462 for 2007.

A total of 473 Bulgarians were not allowed to leave the country, 641 were detained, including 614 wanted persons and 16 detained for contraband. Foreigners who were not allowed to enter Bulgaria numbered 1,459, including 1,420 without visas. Thirty-nine foreigners have been detained at Kalotina.

Meanwhile, in the past two months the customs officials of the three crossing points to Turkey (Kapitan Andreevo, Lessovo and Malko Turnovo) intercepted ten  illegal attempts at drugs trafficking. The detained heroin alone for that period totals 392 kg.

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