Joint statement of Acting Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov and the US Ambassador H.E. Kenneth Merten

24 Юли 2024 г.

Today, June 26, 2024, in Sofia, Palace of Justice, Acting Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria Borislav Sarafov and the US Ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Kenneth Merten made a statement on a joint investigation against the criminal activity of German citizen of Bulgarian origin Ruzha Ignatova and the financial pyramid "OneCoin" led by her.

Acting Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov emphasized the need of cooperation between the law enforcement authorities of separate states in countering crimes that "accumulate significant financial and material assets acquired through criminal conduct".

Sarafov emphasized that it is a privilege and a great responsibility as the Head of the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office to be a worthy partner of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - "undoubtedly, the best and most powerful investigative service in the world". "We are partners in the common fight against crime and lawlessness. This is a tough battle requiring continued joint efforts and dedication to meet society's expectations for justice," said Borislav Sarafov. He announced that along with the case being conducted in the USA against Ruzha Ignatova, she will also be charged in absentia in our country, which will allow a procedure for the confiscation of her illegally acquired property to be launched.

Borislav Sarafov pointed out that during his visit to FBI headquarters in Washington a month ago, the joint investigation of the American and Bulgarian authorities against Ignatova was only one of the discussed criminal investigations involving Bulgarian citizens, on which the Prosecutor's Office works jointly with the partners from  FBI .

In his statement, Acting Prosecutor General expressed his gratitude to the US Embassy in Bulgaria and FBI, that render support in reforming, training and strengthening the professional capacity of investigative services in our country. Borislav Sarafov expressed expectations, shared during his visit to the USA, that in a short period of time Bulgaria will receive additional support in investigations against cybercrimes, as an increase of the US mission in our country with a federal agent, to work together with the Bulgarian institutions in the field of cybercrime and the collection of digital evidence.

On his part, the US ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Kenneth Merten said that today the US government announced a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Ruzha Ignatova, who is being investigated for one of the largest fraud schemes in history for over 4 billion US dollars.

"The United States greatly appreciates ​​our partnership with the Bulgarian Prosecutor General's Office and Bulgarian law enforcement and security services, as together we seek to bring Ms. Ignatova and other criminals to justice," said the US ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Kenneth Merten.