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press releases 2011

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to Open Office in Sofia

December 7, 2011

U.S. Ambassador James Warlick is pleased to announce that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will open an office in Sofia.
“The decision to open a DEA office in Sofia reflects the close and mutually beneficial relationship we share and the success we have had combating narcotics trafficking together.  To date, this collaboration has resulted in the disruption of the activities of significant criminal groups and the seizure of over 1,500 kilograms of illegal narcotics,” Ambassador Warlick said.

The basis for this strong cooperation was formed in the 1990s, when DEA began collaborating with the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) on several investigations involving significant drug trafficking organizations operating in the region, which resulted in notable seizures.  Since 2008, asset seizures from joint investigations have exceeded $3.1 million dollars.  Also, in 2008 DEA began training programs for Bulgarian law enforcement officials.  To date, over 150 Bulgarian law enforcement personnel have benefitted from these programs.

Since 2009, DEA Special Agents have been working on a daily basis with GDBOP.  They work collaboratively on investigations, which have identified and targeted the highest level of traffickers and organized crime figures operating in Bulgaria. We believe the establishment of a DEA office in Sofia will enable us to work together even more effectively to fight drug trafficking in Bulgaria and the region.

On December 7, 2011, the Regional Director of DEA, Mark Destito, travelled to Bulgaria to meet with Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov to discuss ongoing U.S. - Bulgarian collaboration in combating drug trafficking and details regarding the opening of DEA’s office here.

For more information please contact the U.S. Embassy Sofia Press Office at 02 937-5134 or sofia@usembassy.bg.