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Corruption and Trafficking: Monitoring and Prevention titles the new brochure, recently
published by the Center for the Study of Democracy of its Reports
and Analyses series. It is the first analytical output of the newly
founded Expert group on corruption and illegal trafficking as part
of Coalition 2000 anti-corruption activities
The phenomenon of illicit trafficking has become one
of the most important sources for the “shadow economy” in Bulgaria
throughout the 90ies. Its growth was caused by a number of
international and internal factors as well; the most crucial of
which is the weakening of the post-communist state and the spread
of corruption practices among state officials.
Hence the emerging of the criminally interwoven
corruption/trafficking involve state officials (policemen, customs
officers, senior civil servants and politicians) on the one hand,
and semi-criminal groups and local mafia on the other. Bulgarian
“contraband channels” also constitute a part of the wider network
of transnational crime. In the forthcoming brochure, however, the
emphasis is on Bulgarian trans-border crime, rather than on its
The brochure is composed of three parts:
- an analysis of trans-border crime in Bulgaria
during the 90ies;
- a review of the sociological and statistical
methods of measuring illicit trafficking;
- Practically oriented proposals with the aim of
curbing corruption and trafficking.
In the second part of the brochure (Monitoring
the illegal trafficking) the authors propose two relevant
methods of measuring the contraband merchandises imported in
the country. One of them is the “mirror statistics” method,
which consists of comparing Western and Bulgarian official data
about the export/import of the country. It is used to assess the
scope of the gray economy as a whole, and for locating the main
“contraband markets” in Bulgaria. In addition, an original
mechanism is developed, which combines monitoring through
sample interviews, with exerting control over contraband goods.
This mechanism is oriented towards future cooperation between local
NGOs and public authorities (customs and police).
The third part of the brochure consists of proposed
measures to be undertaken to curb illegal trafficking and
corruption in this country. It is coined after the Coilition
2000 Anti-Corruption Action Plan and outlines the synergy of
public sector reform and civil society anti-corruption initiatives.
It also stresses on the importance of enhancing international
cooperation in the framework of Bulgaria’s EU accession.