Velchev : Bulgarian Organized Crime Does Not Use Bulgarian Banking System to Launder its Big Money

"The big money of Bulgarian organized crime is not laundered through the Bulgarian banking system. This is precisely why money laundering cases in Bulgaria are about small sums," Bulgarian Prosecutor General Boris Velchev said on Friday. He attended the opening of a seminar on money laundering, organized by the prosecuting magistracy and EUROJUST.

"Bulgaria has sent regatory commissions on money laundering cases to EU Member States and to third countries," the Prosecutor General added. EUROJUST is handling 16 cases of delayed rogatory commissions on money laundering, including some from Bulgaria. For the time being, Bulgaria has not enforced several French arrest warrants in connection with human trafficking because Bulgarian judges want additional guarantees for the persons who will be surrendered, Velchev said.

"The EU Member States and organizations like Europol and EUROJUST can achieve tangible results in the fight against crime only if all competent authorities pool their efforts," Bulgarian Justiec Minister Miglena Tacheva said at the opening of the seminar. She described Bulgaria's cooperation with EUROJUST as an important element of the area of justice and home affairs.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Roumen Petkov, who also attended the opening of the forum, said that a balance should be found between guarantees of citizens' rights and national security.

Eurojust is a EU body established in 2002 to enhance the effectiveness of the competent authorities within Member States when they are dealing with the investigation and prosecution of serious cross-border and organised crime.

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