The State Commission on Gambling from Bulgaria is facing more charges after authorities found out about multiple bribes.
Bulgaria.- The public prosecution from Bulgaria has discovered that the State Commission on Gambling has received bribe offers from a businessman. Former Chairman of the Commission Ognemir Mitev has been detained.
As reported by Bulgarian National Television (BNT), businessman Vasil Bozhkov offered a bribe of €5k a day to an official at the state regulator. The prosecutor’s office claims that Mitev was part of the businessman’s group and that he didn’t control the revenue from Bozhkov’s lotteries.
Bozkhov has been accused of being active in a group involved in blackmail, tax crimes, money laundering and coercion, among other things, since the beginning of 2014. The authorities believe that Mitev didn’t properly check Bozkhov’s gambling business and how the fees were calculated. The lotteries allegedly ended up paying 20% to the commission and not the 15% of all bets that the law requires them to do.
Siika Mileva, Spokesperson of the Chief Prosecutor, said: “Bozhkov offered a gift of €5k a day to an official of the Gambling Commission, who in turn would submit to the commission proposals for revocation of licences of competing companies.”
Last week, the head of the State Commission along with the head of control of the State Commission on Gambling and more than 10 officials have been interrogated by officials of the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Ministry of Interior.
This was the second time that the officials from Bulgaria have been taken for questioning in two weeks. They also seized documents regarding how lottery fees are calculated.
BNT also reported that the head of control at the State Commission on Gambling said that he would assist the prosecution on this case and that he was not worried about being questioned multiple times.