Bulgarian ambassador Aleksandar recalled over corruption charges

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Ambassador Aleksandar Borisov Parashkevov allegedly accepted graft money of USD 40,000/- for importing the car for a Pakistani guy; This newspaper wrote on September 03, 2020 that foreign diplomats have continuously been misusing their privileges available under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and selling duty-free imported luxury vehicles to local businessmen, official documents have revealed

EXCLUSIVE

Ansar M Bhatti/DNA

ISLAMABAD: Associate. Prof Aleksandar Borisov Parashkevov, the newly-appointed Ambassador of Bulgaria to Pakistan has been called back soon after his appointment, over corruption charges.

The ambassador, according to sources, was yet to present his credentials to the President of Pakistan. So this is quite rare in the diplomatic history that an ambassador is called back without presenting his credentials to the host country.

According to reports, the newly-arrived Bulgarian ambassador Borisov allegedly got himself involved in import of cars for Pakistani people and liquor beyond his stipulated quota.

He has been called back because of this Bentley car issue. Details reveal the car imported by the Bulgarian ambassador availing his diplomatic position, was in use of a Pakistani.

The Customs officials intercepted the car and asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to verify its credentials. When the case arrived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry official outright said that the car was imported by the Ambassador, despite the fact Ambassador imported the car for his Pakistani friend.

Sources say the Ambassador Aleksandar Borisov Parashkevov allegedly accepted graft money of USD 40,000/- for importing the car from that Pakistani guy.

In a second instance, the Bulgarian ambassador also tried to make his fortunes by accommodating his Pakistani collaborators by importing liquor beyond his stipulated quota.

In November 2019 the ambassador placed an order for liquor. He was authorized to import consignment weighing 1482 KGs while when the container arrived it weighed over 2,600 KGs.

Upon knowing this the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote a letter to the Director General of Customs Intelligence, Islamabad asking him to thoroughly inspect the container.

“ While this Ministry is coordinating with the concerned embassies for inspection of these consignments ( For possibility of mis-declaration/smuggling of liquor above approved quantity) you are requested to please ensure that these consignments must not be released/cleared or exported back by the Customs authorities with inspection”, the Ministry further wrote to the Customers Intelligence Director General.

It may be mentioned there that a total of 15 embassies consignments were seized by the Customs that month, on same charges and the Bulgaria ambassador’s consignment was at the top of the list. List of all those 15 countries is available with Islamabad POST and shall be made public in coming days with complete details.

This newspaper had already published a news regarding misuse of diplomatic status by some of the diplomats and diplomatic missions. This newspaper wrote on September 03, 2020 that foreign diplomats have continuously been misusing their privileges available under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and selling duty-free imported luxury vehicles to local businessmen, official documents have revealed.

Pakistan Customs seized nine very expensive vehicles that were imported by foreign diplomats but were in the use of private persons.

This has not only caused a Rs250-million revenue loss in nine cases but also put the security of other diplomats at risk due to the use of fake or duplicate diplomatic number plates.

The report further stated that in 2019 Pakistan Customs confiscated at least 16 very expensive vehicles, including nine in July alone that were imported in the names of diplomats but had been in the possession of private persons, according to the FBR official record.

At the prevailing taxes and duty rates, the estimated tax evasion in the 16 cases is Rs444.6 million, which also indicates how pricey the vehicles were.