Bulgaria Blocks Venezuela-linked Bank Account

Bulgaria Blocks Venezuela-linked Bank Account

Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security has blocked an account with an unnamed local bank over suspicions of money laundering, after millions of euro were transfered to that account from Venezuela, chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said on Wednesday. The account was opened legally, which means that the bank itself is not under suspicion, by a lawyer with several citizenships, including a Bulgarian one, Tsatsarov said during a press briefing, as heard in an audio file published by the Bulgarian National Radio. The Bulgarian authorities acted on a tip-off by US ambassador Eric Rubin. Several transfers, a number of which by Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, were made to the account with the explanation that the money would be used for the purchase of food or that it would go to Venezuelan sport federations, Tsatsarov explained. Subsequently, part of the funds were transferred to accounts outside Bulgaria, he added.When the full picture regarding the transfers, time frame, accounts from which the funds were transferred is clear, the prosecutor's office will decide whether to bring money laundering charges.

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