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Bulgaria: Corruption, Theft In Armed Forces Uncovered

Sofia, 13 Novovember 1997 (RFE/RL) - Bulgaria's Defense Minister Georgiy Ananiev says an audit has turned up large-scale corruption, and theft at military facilities, and in the Ministry itself.

Ananiev and Army Chief-of-Staff Miho Mihov today detailed the audit findings at a news conference. The audit covered 1994-1997, which coincides with the Socialist government of former prime minister Zhan Videnov.

Among the findings of a special audit commission were spending irregularities for Bulgarian peacekeepers assigned to United Nations duty, and for military-related sports teams. There is a long list of items missing from military depots, and the theft of firearms and fuel is documented. Other irregularities include falsification of documents, and violation of rules on sale of old military equipment.

The audit says there was widespread corruption involving military officers and officials, especially those responsible for food supplies, spare parts for vehicles, and weapons and ammunition.