European Prosecutors investigate local luxury car trade
An investigation into an alleged organized crime group dealing in luxury vehicles by the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) in Paris and Sofia led to raids at several locations on Tuesday and Wednesday, the EPPO announced today. The group, operating in several EU countries, is believed to have laundered the proceeds of criminal activity by trading in luxury cars without paying VAT. The purchase and sale invoices of more than 200 luxury cars discovered during the searches are being checked.
The illegal activities date back to 2018 and have incurred losses to the EU budget estimated at at least €11 million. Searches were carried out in Sofia, Varna and Vinograd. During the operation more than 73 thousand euros in cash, as well as gold and foreign currency, were seized.
BGN 1.5 billion for railways redirected to Sofia's metro
A significant portion of the money from the Transport program for the period 2014 - 2021 will be transferred to new projects. The new winners will be Sofia, Burgas and Varna. "Activities will be carried out along line 3 of the Sofia metro. The project to build the Burgas Bypass Road from AM Trakia to the airport near the city will also be financed. It is also planned to carry out dredging of the territory of the Port of Burgas, as well as rehabilitation of the infrastructure of the Ferry Complex - Varna", announced the Ministry of the Interior.
Significantly, trains are the big losers. Bulgaria will once again postpone many large infrastructure projects from the 2014-2020 program period for the new one, as it cannot fit into the deadlines for their implementation. December 2023 is the deadline for the absorption of nearly 4 billion BGN, of which 1.5 billion is under the transport program. All of them are for railway lines and other projects of the National Railway Infrastructure Company, and will be postponed for the 2021 - 2027 program period.
Payhawk receives e-money license in Lithuania
Bulgarian fintech startup Payhawk has received an e-money license from the central bank of Lithuania that can be used throughout the European Economic Area, the company announced. It added that it will also be opening an office in the country, which marks the eighth country it has employees in.
The electronic money license is part of the European Union directive on payment instruments. It allows issuing electronic money on accounts and paying with cards and payment systems. "This is a license many of the neo-banks we know operate with, without being able to offer deposits to their customers," adds Hristo Borisov, executive director and co-founder of Payhawk.
The company issues corporate cards and corporate expense management software, with customers in 32 countries. It has a total of 270 employees, of which 160 are located in Bulgaria.