Thu, 02 Dec 2021

SOFIA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Bulgarian customs inspectors have seized 41.6 kg of smuggled gold jewelry at Danube Bridge checkpoint near Vidin at the border with Romania, the largest shipment in 17 years, authorities said Friday.

The items, split into 64 packets and boxes, were found on Wednesday afternoon in a car with German registration, which was traveling from Bulgaria to Germany, the National Customs Agency (NCA) said in a statement.

The driver and his companion, both Bulgarian citizens, said they were carrying only personal belongings. However, a detailed inspection of the vehicle revealed two secret compartments under the floor filled with jewelry made of 14-carat gold.

The items, priced at 1.3 million U.S. dollars, were confiscated, the statement said, adding that the two Bulgarians were arrested.

According to the NCA, this was the largest shipment of smuggled gold seized at Bulgarian borders since 2004, when 55 kg of gold jewelry were captured at the Danube Bridge checkpoint near Ruse en route from Turkey to Poland.

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