Companies Criminal law Legal

Foreign crime in Bulgaria

Foreigners commit crimes much more often than the locals in Bulgaria

If you have a criminal mentality. You are going to have a problem everywhere you go and you will be the problem everywhere you go.De philosopher DJ Kyos

Non-EU nationals don’t respect the law in Bulgaria

This is PART 1 of the legal analysis of an attempt by a non-EU national to bully Bulgarians. In this first chapter, we will analyse only one of the crimes that we believe the foreigner has committed. This is namely a crime against the creditors as per art. 227b of the Bulgarian Penal code. A report will be filed in due course with the Bulgarian prosecutor’s office. The State Agency for National Security and the police will be also addressed. This is in order to ensure that an EU entry ban can be considered for the non-EU citizen. If the non-EU national has residence permit in any EU country, this should be revoked as well. We aim to keep our country and the EU safe. We believe that no effort should be spared in achieving this.

In the next parts of the analysis, we will focus on the crimes against the Bulgarian fiscal system. We will also explain the particularities of the crime extortion and coercion as per the Bulgarian Penal code. Last, but not least, we will explain how a non-EU national gets expelled from Bulgaria and the EU.

For many years we have been claiming that crime in Bulgaria is mostly done by foreigners. Not in absolute terms of course, but based on the number of foreigners, operating from Bulgaria, the percentage of crime, committed by them, is frightening. Often, the crime is done violently, but many times, the foreigners commit crime, because of their absolute ignorance of the Bulgarian legal norms.

We are proud to say that we have assisted the law enforcement authorities to combat the Nigerian criminals, selling drugs to our children and committing internet fraud. The perpetrators will never visit the Schengen area again.

Russians doing monkey business in Bulgaria

Today we will tell you about a case of multiple crimes committed by a non-EU citizen in Bulgaria. This time, the crime is better disguised, than selling drugs in Sunny Beach. Still the harm done to our European society is not to be underestimated.

The plot of the story

A non-EU foreigner is the director and the sole shareholder of a Bulgarian company. Purely for simplicity, we will be referring this company as to “the Russian company“. This company has signed a service contract with another Bulgarian company, owned and managed by Bulgarians. Again, for simplicity,we will call this “the Bulgarian company“. It is important to comprehend that both companies are registered in Bulgaria and are subject to Bulgarian laws.

The Russian company is paying monthly fee for the services that are provided by the Bulgarian company. As per the conditions of the contract between the two companies, the contract can be terminated with a 3-months notice.

So far so good. But let’s see how the director of the Russian company believes that business can be done in Bulgaria.

Russians try to bully Bulgarians (in Bulgaria!)

The Russian company, having paid the monthly fees for the services of the Bulgarian company for some time, suddenly stops paying anymore. The Russian company’s director informs the Bulgarian company that he wants to cancel the contract with immediate effect. This is in stark contradiction with the terms of the contract between the companies, where a 3-months notice is required. Logically, the Bulgarian company disagrees and insists on the 3-months notice, as foreseen in the contract. So here is when the Russian director starts acting, as he is in Moscow, demonstrating his complete ignorance of the Bulgarian laws.

So what does the director of the Russian company do, after he is informed that the Bulgarian company will address the Bulgarian court in order to get legal ruling for the breach of the contract?

  • First, he repeatedly states that the Russian company cannot pay the contract fees because it does not have the money. He offers to pay in 12 monthly instalments without to offer any guarantees. The contract between the companies doesn’t have any such provisions.
  • Second, the director of the Russian company says that if the Bulgarian company goes to court, he will argue that the Bulgarian company has not fulfilled its contractual obligations in the past.
  • Last, but not least, the director insists on the Bulgarian company’s cooperation in recovering taxes from the Bulgarian budget. This is something that the Bulgarian company doesn’t believe is appropriate. To convince the Bulgarian company to cooperate for the “recovery”, the Russian director states that if he gets the money, there may be sufficient funds to pay for the Bulgarian company’s services.
A question for the law students and future penal lawyers: Do you guys see any crimes being committed here? Under how many articles of the Penal Code can criminal liability be enforced?

The Bulgarian penal code

We will analyse in this article only the first crime, that we believe are committed by the Russian director. Let’s not forget that in Bulgaria, criminal responsibility can only be born by a natural person, in this case the director of the Russian company. Legal entities (companies) can not be criminally charged, unlike in some other countries. So let’s start with crime #1 below.

Crimes against the creditors

In Chapter I “a” of the Bulgarian Penal code, called “Crimes against the creditors”, the legislator has foreseen certain norms that protect the rights of the creditors in Bulgaria.

The idea of the law is that in Bulgaria, no excuses can be made by the debtor that he has no funds to pay its debts. If there s no money, then the company has to file insolvency in the court. And this must be done not later than 30 days after it has stopped paying its debts. This is in order to enable the creditor to seek compensation from the available assets of the debtor in the bankruptcy proceedings. So the Bulgarian legislator wants to prevent cases, exactly as the one in this article, where the debtor wants to be “excused”, because he has no money. For this to be achieved, the Bulgarian legislator has foreseen the most severe sanction – criminal responsibility.

In our case, the creditor is the Bulgarian company and it hasn’t received its monthly fees from the debtor – the Russian company. So here is what the Bulgarian Penal code stipulates:

(1) A trader who falls into insolvency and does not declare this to the court within 30 days of the suspension of payments shall be punished by imprisonment for up to 3 years or a fine of up to 5000 leva.

(2) The penalty under par. 1 shall be also imposed on the persons who manage and represent the commercial company or cooperative, if within 30 days from the suspension of payments they have not requested the court to open insolvency proceedings.

art. 227b, par. 1 & 2 of the Bulgarian penal code

The picture is absolutely clear here. The Bulgarian company will inform the prosecutor’s office for the non-payment by the Russian company and the statement by the Russian director, that there is no money to pay its debts. Then the prosecutor, eventually assisted by the police, will check whether the Russian company has filed for insolvency within 30 days after the last unpaid amount to the Bulgarian company. And if this appears not to be the case, the Russian director will be criminally charged on basis of art. 227b.

Bulgaria & EU entry ban

Additionally, the State Agency for National Security will evaluate the case and consequentially an EU entry ban will be issued for the Russian citizen. Any EU residence permits he might hold, will be revoked and he will be expelled from the EU. This is only based on the first, most formal crime committed. The other crimes that will be discussed in the next parts of our analysis will come on top of all this.

To be continued…

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