Mafia Profits by Smuggling Goods from China Standartnews - 2004/10/15
Smuggled goods from China is one of the major financial sources of the shady economy and organized criminal rings, reads a report of the Center for the Study of Democracy on transport, contraband and organized crime in this country in the period 1998-2003. Since early 2000, the entered Chinese goods have tripled standing at 217 million euros, up from 62 million euros. The major corridor for channeling smuggled goods passes via Thessaloniki, via Kulata border checkpoint to Sofia, as well as via Kalotina, Ruse on the Danube and Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoints. Some of the big players are making attempts to secure representation in the major political parties, said Tihomir Bezlov from the Center. The report is indicative of the fact that the National Coffer is incurred yearly losses of 500,000 million levs from smuggling and import of duty-free goods. According to the report, in 1999, the dirty grafts given to smuggle goods totaled 35 million levs. The report underscores that this country has a small open economy and this is why 60 to 70 percent of Bulgaria's GDP is crossing its borders.