Bulgaria commits to uncovering, seizing and returning the proceeds of corruption to their legitimate owners. Bulgaria’s Commission for the Withdrawal of Criminal Assets has gained strength and considerable experience in recovering and confiscating illicit proceeds and will benefit from its proposed inclusion in a new powerful Anti-corruption Bureau proposed under the Draft Corruption Prevention and Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act. The draft Law focuses on cases of unexplained wealth and allows for the reversal of burden of proof.
Themes: Asset recovery
Last updated: December 2020
Concrete: Concrete | New: Not New | Ambitious: Other
European Commission report (COM(2020) 217)
Commission for Prevention of Corruption and Forfeiture of Illegal Assets (CPCIAF) Annual Report for 2019 (in Bulgarian language)
Commission for Prevention of Corruption and Forfeiture of Illegal Assets (CPCIAF) Annual Report for 2018 (pp. 27-51, in Bulgarian language)
CPCIAF statistics on cases commenced (2006-2018)
New anti-cottuption law- 'Prevention of Corruption and Forfeiture of Illegal Assets Act'
IMF STAFF COUNTRY REPORTS
The CCPNPI took more than half a million
Court uphold a lawsuit by the Zorka Mihailova Corruption and Forfeiture of Illegal Acquired Property (CCPNPI) for seizure of Zorka Mihailova's property
Property seized for more than half a million levs from Irena Milyankova and her ex-husband
It has been two and half years since the entering into force of the new legislation and establishment of the CPCIAF (former CIAF). The new legislation endowed the authority with additional powers. However, the confiscation/asset recovery procedures remained the same in their nature. A recent report of the European Commission on the transposition of Directive 2014/42/EU on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime states that Bulgarian government failed to notify the Commission of complete transposition, therefore, a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the Bulgarian legislation was not completed. Currently, the infringement procedure for non-communication remains open (see “Asset recovery and confiscation: Ensuring that crime does not pay” report (COM(2020) 217), p. 5).
Updated: October 31, 2020
According to the annual report for year 2019, on the grounds of the new legislation, which has been adopted in early 2018, the CPCIAF commenced a total of 79 cases for forfeiture of illegal assets (5 in 2018 and 74 in 2019). For comparison, the number of cases commenced on the grounds of the repealed laws in the same two-year period amount to 240. For 2019, the CPCIAF reports 14 cases decided in their favour: 23 court decisions entered into force and assets amounting BGN 8,171,657.33 (~4.2 million euro) were subjected to confiscation. For comparison, in 2018 the courts decided on confiscation of BGN 13,100,617.78 (~ 6.5 million euro), all on the grounds of the repealed laws (statistics given in the Evidence). The 2019 report also provides data of actually recovered assets for that year: the National Revenue Agency collected BGN 2,142,079.76 (a bit over 1 million EUR), most of which comes from confiscated real estates. There is no information regarding any allocation of confiscated assets for social purposes.
Updated: April 30, 2020
IMF country report from March 2019, states that 'The Commission for Counteracting Corruption and for Seizure of Illegally Acquired Property' is "fully operational".
Peer reviewer: 1
Updated: October 31, 2019
According to the annual report for year 2018 (which is the most updated data available), the Commission for Prevention of Corruption and Forfeiture of Illegal Assets (CPCIAF) commenced a total of 5 cases for forfeiture of illegal assets on the grounds of the new legislation, which has been adopted in early 2018 (1). For comparison, the cases commenced on the grounds of the repealed laws amount to 156 in the same period. For 2018 the CPCIAF also reported a total of 24 court decisions in their favour that entered into force and BGN 13,100,617.78 (~ 6.5 million euro) of assets subject to confiscation - all on the grounds of the repealed laws (2,3). The information provided by the authorities is, however, still insufficient to judge how much of these assets were actually seized by the state and what was the value at the time of the seizure. Data for the results for 2019, will be provided in the annual activity report for 2019, which is expected to be published in April 2020.
Updated: April 30, 2019
No change since spring 2018
Updated: October 30, 2018
In early 2018 the new anti-corruption law (Prevention of Corruption and Forfeiture of Illegal Assets Act) has been adopted and a new Commission for prevention of corruption and forfeiture of illegal assets established. This new body merges the former Asset Forfeiture Commission (CIAF), the former Conflict of Interests Commission, the former Centre for Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Organised Crime, and departments of the National Audit Office and the State Agency for National Security being in charge in prevention of corruption among high public officials. The law changes the structure and management model of the listed bodies, but does not upgrade the confiscation system. The amount of actually collected assets remains low. The only improvement worth to mention is the regulation for allocation of 30% of confiscated assed for social purposes, however the exact mechanism is yet to be set.
Updated: June 30, 2018