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Policy brief

CSD Brief No 21: Investigation of Money Laundering: An Institutional Approach

Organized crime in Bulgaria is quick to adapt to the new realities and by and large enters the legal economy by legalizing capital accrued from criminal activities. This process poses a significant threat to the country: while in developed democracies money-laundering is carried out through the complex financial operations or investments in the legal economy (for instance through the purchasing of real estate and movables), in Bulgaria money-laundering takes on a specific form – political investment.

The policy brief makes an overview of the organized crime, corruption and money-laundering in Bulgaria. According to the authors, in spite of several legislative initiatives and a growing amount of prosecutorial decrees for money-laundering in the last decade, the prosecution for this type of crime in Bulgaria remains insignificant. The complexity of the crime, the objective difficulties for its investigation, as well as the necessary inter-institutional approach on an international level to combat such activities explain the relatively small number of prosecutions.

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