Bulgarian Interior Ministry Reveals Suspicious Donations Statistics

Bulgarian Interior Ministry Reveals Suspicious Donations Statistics

Local units of Bulgaria's Interior Ministry have accepted donations from a range of large and small businesses, including from convicted persons and persons involved in criminal investigations, according to statistics for the period August 2009 - May 2011.

The data was requested by Sega daily, citing Bulgaria's Access to Public Information Act, following the announcement that the Interior Ministry had collected the record sum of over BGN 6.5 M in donations for the first three months of 2011, compared to a total of BGN 2.1 M for the entire 2008.

Apart from that, the Interior receives the biggest subsidy from the state budget, spending around BGN 1 B per year.

In end-May, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov vowed to publish donation statistics of the institution.

Among the biggest donors to the Interior Ministry are companies related to energy tycoon Hristo Kovachki, who has been declared guilty of VAT-draining amounting to BGN 17 M by the court of first instance.

Thermal Power Plant Bobov Dol EAD is a regular donor of fuel to the Interior, according to data released by the police directorate in the south-western town of Kyustendil. In two and a half years, the Bobov Dol TPP, which is about to be closed over non-compliance with environmental standards, has contributed a total of 15 300 liters of fuel, while Vagledobiv Bobov Dol EOOD has donated 6300 liters of fuel.

Professional football Club Minyor Pernik, presided by Nikifor Vangelov, Kovachki's son in law, donated office supplies to the police directorate in Pernik in 2010. Vangelov has likewise been charged with VAT-draining but has been acquitted by the court of first instance

Another major donor of the Interior is Yulen AD. Last week, the Bulgarian government announced that it would change the Concessions Act in order to legalize illegally obtained terrains in Bansko by the company. The step was immediately opposed by environmentalists, who blocked the crossing of the Vasil Levski Blvd and the Patriarch Evtimiy Blvd in Sofia on June 30 in protest against the government's intention to approve the illegitimate ski runways of Yulen in the Pirin National Park . Yulen has been donating 300 liters of gasoline on a monthly basis, according to information from the district police directorate in the southern town of Blagoevgrad. By the end of the year, Yulen AD will also supply computer accessories and stationery supplies.

The police directorate in Sapareva Banya, a town situated in southwest Bulgaria's Kyustendil district, has received donations from Atomic-Invest OOD, a company that has been investigated by EC representatives on tip-offs of flouting NATURA 2000 regulations with the construction of a lift in the Panichishte ski resort.

Lukoil Bulgaria is a traditional sponsor of the police directorate in Burgas. It has contributed rappel devices, ropes and helmets worth BGN 10 152.62, which are used by the anti-terrorist squads of the unit.

Other names on the donors list are Blagoevgrad-BT, Bulgarian Marine Fleet EAD, the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (mobile phones worth BGN 119 973.66), as well as Balkanpharma, Carlsberg and Pirinsko Pivo, which have donate fuel.

The Bulgarian Football Union, the Bulgarian Biathlon Federation and the Bulgarian Sports Totalizator have also supported the police directorates with fuel supplies, computer equipment and money. (Source: Sofia News Agency)

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