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Bulgarian Scam: Officials Grant EU Citizenship for €5,000

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On Monday, 29 October 2018, Bulgarian prosecutors revealed that the scam run by state officials has been broken up. They said that this scam had made it possible for foreigners (thousands of them) to get Bulgarian passports, as well as visa-free travel across the European Union, by offering cash of €5,000 for officials.

A group of employees of the state Agency for Bulgarians Abroad are alleged to have been receiving bribes in order to give applicants fake certificates of Bulgaria origin. The Bulgarian certificate of origin holds such importance because it can be the basis for issuing Bulgarian nationality and identity documents. In a statement released by prosecutors, a probe had been launched into the work of agency on various counts that include a crime group, forgery of documents, receiving bribe and abuse of office. Besides these details, no further details would be made public at this stage according to Angel Kanev, the prosecutor overseeing the inquiry. Nevertheless, it is believed among local media that Petar Heralampiev who is the head of the agency, as well as 20 other applicants are alleged to be subordinates. Links between the agency Bulgarian passports seekers, was arrested during the prosecutors’ operation on Monday citing prosecution sources.

They Hardly Stay in Bulgaria

The figures released by Justice Ministry revealed that over the past ten years, above 115, 000 people were naturalised into Bulgaria. These foreigners scarcely live in Bulgaria. Majority of them take advantage of the opportunity offered by The Bulgarian passport to work and live in other EU countries that are richer.

During criminal investigations in both France and Belgium, more often than not, it is discovered that suspects who have Bulgarian documents cannot even speak Bulgarian. This was made known by police departments that employed Bulgarian-language translators for this purpose.

On the 13th of November, an annual report will be published by The Bulgarian Commission on the rule of law in the country under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.

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