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Bulgaria's Illegal Car Dealers to Remain in Jail for 72 Hours

Date: 24.08.2010

Five of the arrested during the special police operation “the Sewage Workers”, targeting people dealing with stolen cars, have been detained for 72 hours.

The operation, carried out Tuesday in the Bulgarian city of Silistra, targeted people dealing with stolen cars, which were illegally imported from other EU countries. The fake registration papers were prepared in Bulgaria and then the automobiles were sold on the black market.

The police have arrested the ringleader Ivo Zaspaliya (The Sleepy), who has been sentenced in courts in France and Hungary and four other men who did not have criminal records.

Two Romanian citizens have also been detained during the police operation. They have been questioned as witnesses and later released.

The district prosecutor from Silistra, Teodor Zhelev, has announced that the Prosecutor's Office will demand permanent detention of the five men.

“They will be charged with preliminary association for committing crimes with documents for registration of motor vehicles,” Zhelev said.

On Tuesday, the District Prosecutor in Bulgaria’s Danube city of Silistra, Dimitar Cholakov, opposed the hurried announcement of the police operation by the Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Tsvetanov told the media about the latest arrests around 7:30 am, but the Prosecutor insists his colleagues have not been informed despite the fact they worked on the probe for months, adding there is a total lack of communication and coordination on the part of the police.

On Wednesday, however, Tsvetanov announced that there was no tension between him and the Cholakov.

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