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Policeman caught transporting smuggled illegal migrants around Bulgaria

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Policeman caught transporting smuggled illegal migrants around Bulgaria

Photo: BGNES

An officer of the Security Police of the Sofia Regional Directorate of the Interior has been detained for driving migrants, as part of a pre-trial proceeding conducted by the Karlovo, Southern Bulgaria, Regional Prosecution Office, Plovdiv District Prosecutor Roumen Popov told a news conference Tuesday.

On the evening of August 5, driving a Mercedes car the detained official, along with the drivers of three other cars, went to take 16 migrants from near Burgas, on the Black Sea, and drove them to Sofia on August 6. The detainee went back for another six migrants.

On the way to Sofia he did not stop when asked by traffic policemen. The driver headed to Karlovo where he dropped the six passengers and their belongings but kept some of their more valuable items. The police chased him, and he was stopped in Pirdop, Central Bulgaria.

The 16 migrants were found in a flat of the detained official in Sofia. All the migrants are male. Fifteen are adults, one is a child of about 10. The six migrants left in Karlovo are between 16 and 29 years old. They identify themselves as coming from Afghanistan and being headed to Western Europe. An investigation is underway to see how they entered Bulgaria.

The detained policeman said that he was supposed to be paid 2,000 leva for the two trips and that he had been asked to make them "incidentally". Popov said, however, that initial information indicates the existence of an organized crime group.

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