The 2020 Bulgarian Organised Crime Threat Assessment is the third in a series of studies which, on an annual basis, canvasses the state, volume and structure of the major criminal markets. The report also captures the trends related to organised crime over the period 2017–2019.
The present assessment relies on data for 2019 covering fourteen criminal markets which can be grouped under three basic headings:
- Traditional organised criminal markets – human trafficking and the market for sexual services, human smuggling, automobile theft, extortion racketeering and usury.
- Excise duty and VAT crimes – illegal trade in tobacco products and in fuels, as well as VAT fraud.
- Emerging criminal markets – EU funds fraud, illegal trade in pharmaceuticals, cybercrime, electronic payment systems fraud, telephone fraud and illegal logging.
The study reviews the key trends in recent years as well as the structure of each criminal market, and describes the major schemes used by organised criminal groups. Researchers have attempted to gauge the damages that organised criminal groups inflict to individual victims and to society as a whole, as well as to calculate the volume of criminal revenues. Based on data and expert opinion analysis, the report outlines the possible developments of the criminal market and the relevant responses to them, and lists a number of recommendations designed to minimise the damages from organised criminal activity.