Bulgaria Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Bulgaria’s black market. Intelligence data and security threat information collected from news articles and public information sources.

Customs officials in Bulgaria reported that cigarette smuggling activities in the country dropped by 20 percent in 2011.

At the end of the year, illegal cigarettes consisted of 20 percent of all cigarettes and tobacco sold within Bulgaria.

Source: “Bulgaria Customs Brags Cigarette Smuggling Down 20%,” Sofia News, January 6, 2012.

The Interior Minister of Bulgaria reported that there were 313 human trafficking victims were identified within the country in the first six months of 2011. The government convicted 64 people for human trafficking during the time period.

Source: “13 victims of human trafficking, 64 convicted: report,” Focus, November 25, 2011.

Between 2000 and 2009, over 50 kilograms of caviar was estimated to have been smuggled out of Bulgaria and Romania, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

(See how much caviar costs on the black market.)

Source: “WWF Report Sounds Warning On Caviar,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, November 14, 2011.

The Bulgarian National Revenue Agency stated that the country losses up to $500 Million (750 Million Bulgarian Lev) a year to value added tax (VAT) fraud.

Between 2005 and 2009, an estimated $2.2 Billion (3 Billion Bulgarian Lev) in VAT revenue was lost within Bulgaria.

Most of the tax revenue fraud was in the wholesale trade in oil and grains.

Source: “VAT fraud costing Bulgaria billions,”Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), August 10, 2011.

Over 51 percent of taxable economic activity in Italy is undeclared, according to the Association of Italian Taxpayers.

Italy was ranked first in tax evasion in the European Union, followed by Romania with 42 percent evading taxes and Bulgaria with 38 percent.

Internet shopping companies in Italy consist of a large portion of the tax evasion. Out of the over 2 million internet firms registered in Italy, only 800,000 firms pay taxes.

The losses in Italy to Internet tax evasion is estimated to be $4.2 Billion (3 Billion Euros) a year.

Source: “Bulgaria Ranks 3rd in EU in Tax Evasion – Italian Poll,” Sophia News Agency, August 1, 2011.

The Center for the Study of Democracy in Bulgaria estimates that the vale of the illegal drug trade in the country to be worth $124 Million a year.

Source: Stephen Castle, “Law and Order, Bulgarian Style,” New York Times, July 20, 2011.

Due to smuggling activities, up to 34 percent of the tobacco market in Bulgaria in 2010 were made up of illegal tobacco. The portion of the cigarettes sold without taxes being paid or being counterfeits was higher in 2010 than the 18 percent rate in 2009 and the 14 percent rate in 2007.

The head of Customs in Bulgaria reported that 90 percent of the cigarettes smuggled into the country comes from other European Union countries, with 70 percent coming from Greece.

Source: “Bulgaria Customs Head: EU Main Source of Smuggled Cigarettes,” Sofia News Agency, June 2, 2011.

Source: “PMI: Bulgaria 3rd in EU by Cigarette Smuggling,” novite.com, January 5, 2011.

6 percent of males aged 15 to 64 in Bulgaria are believed to pay for sex the country’s prostitution industry.

The average price paid to the prostitution industry in Bulgaria was $25 (40 Bulgarian Leva) for sex with a prostitute.

The fee was down from the $37 (60 Bulgarian Leva) paid prior to the world economic crisis.

(More sex prices with prostitutes here.)

  Source: Clive Leviev-Sawyer, “The political economy of prostitution,” Sofia Echo, June 18, 2010.

Additional prostitution stats and prices available in our ebook:

Software piracy in Bulgaria leads up to 60 percent of all software to be pirated.

Source:  Nick Lliev, “Bulgaria ‘leads in internet piracy in the EU’,” Sophia Echo, April 27, 2010.

Latest figures released find that in 2009, there were 30,000 registered drug addicts in Bulgaria.

Source: “Bulgaria Drug Addict Death Rate Is Fifth Highest in Europe,” Novinite.com, September 22, 2009.