8 February 2021

The Specialized Prosecutor's Office brought to court six persons under investigation for illegal management of hazardous waste

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Today, 08.02.2021, the Specialized Prosecutor's Office filed an indictment in the Specialized Criminal Court in a case involving illegal management of hazardous waste. A total of six persons were brought to court – A.B., P.B., KR.ZH., N.M., V.K. and I.HR.

A.B. and KR.ZH. were brought to justice for directing an organized criminal group, by which in a period of about five years, for profit, they have committed the following crimes under the Criminal Code: Article 282 (criminal breach of trust); Article 311 (false documentation); Article 353b (waste management in contradiction to the established procedure that has created a danger to the life or health of another or has caused significant damage to the environment); Article 353c (waste management in contradiction to the established procedure) and Article 353d (cross-border transport of hazardous waste in violation of the established order).

In addition, the accused people were prosecuted for secondary crimes - A.B. for avoiding tax in substantial amounts, and KR.ZH. was brought to justice for a crime against the public health and the environment, as the same was committed in complicity with V.K.

Except for the participation in an organized crime group - N.M. and V.K. were accused for committing documentary crimes and crimes against public health and the environment. P.B. was taken to court for his participation in an organized criminal group. I.HR. was accused only for a documentary crime. The envisaged punishments for the leaders of an organized criminal group are imprisonment for a period from five to fifteen years, and for the participants in the criminal association for a period from three to ten years.

For committing crimes against the environment, the sentence imposable is form ten to twenty years and a fine of fifteen to fifty thousand Levs. For the documentary crimes – is up to five years and deprivation of the right of the person to hold a certain state or public position.

As part of the investigation in the case, numerous inspections of casualty sites were carried on the territory of the Region of Sofia, the town of Cherven Bryag, the village of Ruptsi, the municipality of Cherven bryag, the town of Pleven and the town of Lom, the Region of Montana, where 16,756 tons of waste were found, including 7,756 tons of hazardous waste. Some of the found hazardous waste was buried in various unregulated places in the country. They were not managed in accordance to the Hazardous Waste Management Act. As a result, the human health was endangered and was caused a significant damage to the environment.

The materials to the case submitted to the Specialized Criminal Court are set out in 546 Volumes. The material evidences gathered within the investigation are also attached to the case, which are also in a significant amount.

It is expected that to be set a date for a pretrial hearing by the Specialized Criminal Court.