In June this year, an audio recording with a transcription was circulated in the Bulgarian media space, which allegedly contained evidence of an offer of property benefit to the head of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BFSA), Prof. Hristo Daskalov.
According to the content of the recording, Daskalov was asked not to create obstacles for the company carrying out phytosanitary control at the “Capitan Andreevo” BCP, in exchange for which he was given “one documentation” in an envelope, which he refused to take. Daskalov later reported that a folder containing bundles of money had been given to him by Prof. Plamen Mollov – rector of the University of Food Technology in Plovdiv, former MP and head of BFSA.
Yesterday prof. Mollov announced that the pre-trial proceedings initiated in the case were terminated. This information was confirmed to the media by the spokesperson and deputy city prosecutor of the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office (SCP), Desislava Petrova. According to Petrova, the State Prosecutor’s Office did not find sufficient evidence of a crime. A technical examination was carried out on the audio recording during the investigation, but details of its outcome have not been disclosed.
The SCPO’s reasoning for finding insufficient evidence of a crime is unknown. Still, given the rapid completion of the investigation, it can be assumed that it was probably focused solely on the specific incident of the alleged bribe offer.
However, has the Bulgarian prosecutor’s office dealt more extensively with all the known suspicious circumstances related to establishing and maintaining the phytosanitary control order at the Kapitan Andreevo Border Crossing?
This question remains unanswered for the time being.
We want to remind you that in June, the ACF referred to the Office of the European Delegated Prosecutors in Bulgaria a request for a thorough examination of the way phytosanitary control was carried out at the external border of the European Union.
We believe that the practices found there may have not only resulted in the budget being harmed by uncollected fees but may also have been used for the continued importation in breach of the customs regime on the territory of the Union through the Republic of Bulgaria and the distribution to the other Member States of all kinds of goods and substances, including those placed under control or banned.
Read more about ACF’s report to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office