Bitcoin Bribery Scandal Unfolds as Bulgarian Officials Exchange Passports to Ukrainians
Recently, the local media outlet NOVA has reported that two Bulgarian government officials have been arrested over allegations that they accepted bribes in Bitcoin (BTC). The money was paid for issuing Bulgarian identity documents for the individuals.
NOVA has used court files to affirm that the two accused officers held management positions from the National Agency for Bulgarian Citizens Abroad and that they have been illegally receiving this money.
Bribes Were Used To Speed Up Process
The reports show that the bribes were very common as they were receiving them since July 2017 from five to 15 times a week.
However, if you believe that the two officials were actually helping people to speed up the process of getting their documents or anything that can be seen in a remotely positive light, you should think twice. The truth is that they used to demand money as ransom from immigrants.
Whoever decided not to comply with the scheme would see a huge delay in the issuing of the important documents. The Next Web’s Hard Fork, which translated the original sources and reported on this story, affirms that the original reports cite that witnesses affirmed that the accused have made it practically impossible for the applicants to get their documents if they refused to pay.
They also offered “solutions” in some cases, though, as another witness for the prosecution seems to have affirmed that a Ukrainian person whose request was denied at first found it possible to receive a Bulgarian identity after bribing one of the two officials.
Defendants Claim To Evidence But Blockchain Proves The Contrary
The defendants affirmed that there was, in fact, no evidence linking them to the crimes. Were the officials paid in real money, there was a change that they would be prosecuted and remain unscathed if they were clever enough to cover their trails well. However, they used Bitcoin.
While their defense attorney might try to convince people that nothing happened, the truth is that the authorities have confiscated the Bitcoin wallets that received the money and some of the money was converted to other cryptos, so at least there is a blockchain trail for this case and these people will not remain without justice.
There are also some witnesses that are currently against the accused. One of the key witnesses in the case is a deputy director at the agency that affirmed that he was aware of the scheme for months (however, we were not able to discover why he decided not to the public about it before). Another relevant witness has affirmed that the paid $5,000 EUR in bribes twice for the officials.
The case is currently being judged and evidence is being evaluated in order to arrest the government officials for bribes.