News/ BULGARIA: 38 PEOPLE SMUGGLING RINGS WERE BROKEN IN 1998, INTERIOR MINIST

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Subject: News/ BULGARIA: 38 PEOPLE SMUGGLING RINGS WERE BROKEN IN 1998, INTERIOR MINIST
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Nov 18 1999 - 21:24:06 EST


12Nov99 BULGARIA: 38 PEOPLE SMUGGLING RINGS WERE BROKEN IN 1998, INTERIOR
MINISTER BONEV SAYS.
Sofia, November 12 (BTA) - The Bulgarian interior services broke 38 people
smuggling rings in 1998. The authorities identified ten foreigners involved
in the organization and management of smuggling people across Bulgaria's
borders. This was the information Bulgarian Interior Minister Bogomil Bonev
presented at a conference on "Preventing the Traffic of Women" which opened
in Budapest on friday, the Interior Ministry said in a press release.
The Bulgarian delegation includes Kiril Radev, Director of the National
Service for Organized Crime Control, and representatives of
non-governmental organizations.
Thirty-six girls forced into prostitution were returned to Bulgaria. The
smuggling of 41 girls, most of them designed for Greece and Cyprus, was
prevented. A ring smuggling Bulgarian girls abroad was borken with the
assistance of the Dutch police. Acting on a tip-off from the Bulgarian
services, a Bulgarian pimp was arrested in Poland. He was managing a group
of Bulgarian prostitutes in the northern parts of the Czech Republic, Bonev
said.
In January-June this year, 376 persons were charged with a different degree
of involvement in helping about 2,000 people to cross the border illegally;
32 persons were charged with trafficking prostitutes, four of them were
convicted, statistics show.
"The new identity papers, the new Foreigners Act, the change in the
Bulgarian visa policy by introducing visa requirements for the risk
countries and the bilateral cooperation agreements are part of the efforts
of the Bulgarian Government to combat the illegal traffic of people," Bonev
said.
"The Interior Ministry is open and it feels the need to conduct cooperation
with non-governmental organizations having experience and informationthat
are useful in counteracting and preventing the traffic of women," Bonev
said. He cited as an example the agreement on cooperation his Ministry had
signed with the NGO Animus La Strada.
Bonev will present to the participants in the conference a US-financed
project for launching an awareness campaign about illegal migration.
NG/BOR/HG/KH/ 20:10:01 12-11-1999 - 0 -
nnnn.
Copyright Bulgarian News Agency. All rights reserved.
Phone: ++359 2 981 6222; 84 61; 884 240; 987 7739
Email: main@bta.bg
Web site: www.bta.bg.net.
BULGARIAN NEWS AGENCY 12/11/1999

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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