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Bulgarian police have arrested 12 people accused of illegally exporting dual-use goods to Russia that can be used by the Russian military in the war in Ukraine.
The Interior Ministry chief secretary, Zhivko Kotsev, told reporters Tuesday the suspects included citizens of Bulgaria, Russia and Belarus.
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The operation to arrest the suspects was carried out by several agencies after the State Agency for National Security received information about the illegal transfer of goods with possible dual use, the agency head Plamen Tonchev said. Such exports to Russia are banned under EU sanctions imposed on Russia after it launched its war in Ukraine.
The Bulgarian flag is flown during a protest in front of the building of National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, Sofia, Bulgaria, November 26, 2022. (Hristo Vladev/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
“An international network has been revealed for the illegal supply of dual-use goods with civilian and military applications from European countries to the Russian Federation,” Tonchev said.
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He added that the shipments were not intended for the regular Russian army, but for the special forces fighting in Ukraine, like the Wagner Group and the Akhmat paramilitary unit.
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Tonchev also said that the criminal group has been operating in other EU member states, as well as in Britain, Serbia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.