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 BULGARIA Wednesday, 9 October 2002 
 

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Every Second Car Stolen for Ransom

Insurance fraud, fictitious arson and staged accidents become more frequent

Over 60 percent of all car thefts in Bulgaria are committed for extortion of ransom, said Chief Secretary of Interior, Gen. Boiko Borissov in his presentation before the international conference on insurance fraud, contraband and illegal trafficking in vehicles held in the "Kempinski-Zografski" hotel in Sofia. Racket for a ransom is becoming more and more popular because most of the widely-spread models are not insured. Police reports show that the number of fictitious thefts, when the cars are actually disassembled and sold for spare parts, is on the rise too. In each case insurance payments are demanded. According to Gen. Borissov's report, this type of fraud accounts for 30 percent of all registered car thefts. Insurance payments are collected after a staged theft, arson or accident. The cases when owners of worn-out vehicles report to the police to institute their inquiry after selling a car for spare parts or scrap, Gen. Borissov said.
Stefan Tashev

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