Bitcoins Not Confiscated By Bulgaria, Attorney Claims – $3.2 Billion At Stake

Crime, News | December 12, 2017 By:

The head of Bulgaria’s Special Prosecutor’s Office, Ivan Geshev, has denied that the Prosecutor’s Office and the Bulgarian Interior Ministry has confiscated more than 200,000 bitcoins, now worth around $3.2 billion.

In May of this year, a crackdown on organized crime by Bulgarian law enforcement resulted in the seizure of 213,519 bitcoins. The bitcoins were taken from a criminal group comprised of “Bulgarian nationals with connections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Romania, and Republic of Serbia,” accused of “recruiting corrupted Customs officers in all involved countries with the purpose to infiltrate a virus in the Customs’ computerized systems.” The virus would then allow the hackers to finalize the transportation of their goods after having made it appear as if “the cargo was already checked and passed” to Customs’ computer systems – circumventing all requisite fees in the process.

In a statement on November 28, the Bulgarian government refused to provide details pertaining to the seized bitcoins, claiming that it could not comment on “specific information from an ongoing investigation into criminal proceedings.”

Geshev, however, said the case doesn’t involve any bitcoin. He stated that the case is still being processed by the Special Prosecutor’s Office and charges will be brought to court as soon as possible. He added that a cybersecurity expertise is being prepared by a US company. After their conclusion, the state will finalize the details on the case and file an official case against the perpetrators of the customs tax evasion scam.