Friday, May 25, 2007

Romania-Seized Bulgarian Driver Denies Accusations of Armoury Smuggling

Sofia News Agency

The Bulgarian truck driver, who was arrested late on Thursday night in Romania for smuggling armoury, denied all accusations in a phone call to the Bulgarian National Radio on Friday.

Mihail Ivanov, 57, claimed he did not in any hurt a Romanian border police officer. The supposed armoury, that the Romanians reported found in his truck, were actually only two boxes of

Meanwhile a man, claiming he is the arrested truck driver, called to the Bulgarian National Radio to say, he denies getting aggressive and hurting border police official. He also said the load of his truck were only two boxes of elements for the production of hunting bullets.

The truckload did not have documents, because, Ivanov said, he somehow missed to take them before the trip. At the time of the regular check of the load there was no border police official, only a policeman, who does not have the right to check the truck, according to Ivanov.

The arrested Bulgarian was interrogated by a prosecutor from the Romanian directorate for investigating organized crime and terrorism related crimes.

Ivanov now may face a sentence for illegal transportation of goods and violating the regime for transit guns and armoury.

According to previous information provided by Mediafax, the Bulgarian driver arrived at the border checkpoint late on Thursday night. When he was asked to deliver the documents for the truck load, he became aggressive, caught one of the border policemen's throat and then escaped. He was later arrested.

After a check of the load, the border officials found 603 projectiles calibre 7,62 mm, 1198 armour-piercing shells, 200 fired cartridges and a device for fuelling shells.

According to the found documents, the truck should have been loaded with car spare parts and animal food.

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