The Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office, the State Security Agency and the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced the dismantling of an organized criminal group that exported dual-use goods to Russia.
According to News.bg, law enforcement officers in Bulgaria arrested 12 people, including five foreigners: three from the Russian Federation and one from Albania and Belarus. Some were allegedly detained at Sofia airport while trying to export military components.
The investigation established that the group had exported dual-use goods to Russia since early 2021. One of the registered trading companies in the city purchased such goods for four million leva.
According to Bulgaria’s Deputy Prosecutor General Maria Pavlova, they were stored in a residential building and then repackaged for export from Bulgaria through Sofia Airport to Russia.
The head of the Bulgarian State Security Agency, Plamen Tonchev, clarified that these goods were intended for special forces fighting against Ukraine. The defendants in the case, Russians, periodically visited Bulgaria and paid for the cost of the goods and part of the transportation costs.
The exported goods – radios, binoculars, ballistic counters, and optical sights – were intended for the Russian Guard, the Russian Marines, and groups such as the Wagner group.
As a member of the European Union, Bulgaria has banned the legal export of dual-use goods to Russia, i.e., those that could be used against Ukraine in Russia’s war of aggression.