US sanctions Bulgarian individuals, entities over corruption

Washington, June 3 (IANS) The US Treasury Department has sanctioned three Bulgarian individuals for their extensive roles in corruption in the country, as well as their networks encompassing 64 entities.

On Wednesday, the Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Vassil Kroumov Bojkov, a prominent Bulgarian businessman and oligarch; Delyan Slavchev Peevski, a former MP; Ilko Dimitrov Zhelyazkov, the former Deputy Chief of the Bulgarian State Agency for Technical Operations who was appointed to the National Bureau for Control on Special Intelligence-Gathering Devices; and the companies owned or controlled by the respective individuals.

In a statement, the Department said that the sanctions were the single largest action targeting corruption to date.

“The US stands with all Bulgarians who strive to root out corruption by promoting accountability for corrupt officials who undermine the economic functions and democratic institutions of Bulgaria,” OFAC Director Andrea M. Gacki was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Not only does corruption deprive citizens of resources, it can erode the institutions intended to protect them.

This designation under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program shows that we are committed to combatting corruption wherever it may be,” she added.

In a separate statement also issued on Wednesday, the State Department said it also designated Peevski, Zhelyazkov, as well as former Bulgarian officials Alexander Manolev, Petar Haralampiev, and Krasimir Tomov due to “their involvement in significant corruption”, barring them and their immediate families from entering the US.

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