Many of you have been watching the Locked up abroad series on National Geographic. And to tell the truth, these shows are a lot of fun. Until you get yourself trapped in the same situation and then the nightmare may begin...
Bulgaria’s rapid economic growth in the last decade has led to a skyrocketing number of foreigners visiting our country. Hundreds of thousands of tourists come to our seaside resorts during the summer and the show continues at the ski slopes later in the winter. The Bulgarian liberal tax system, charging the Bulgarian based businesses (companies) with a ridiculously low flat tax rate of only 10%, brought huge number of foreign businessmen who registered their companies in Bulgaria to have a breath of fresh air, far from their high-tax countries.
But this influx of relocated foreign businesses and tourists, along with a wide-spread ignorance of the Bulgarian laws, has led to another phenomenon – a huge increase of the penal cases against foreigners in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian penal code is being applied for all crimes that are commenced in the territory of the country, irrespectively of the nationality of the perpetrator. The penal legislation in Bulgaria is overly complicated and is in general harsher than most other EU criminal legislations. The real problem however is not the severity of the foreseen sentences, but the fact that most foreigners, knowing what is considered to be a crime in their home countries, are completely unaware of what constitutes crime in Bulgaria.
So what are the foreigners in Bulgaria usually being charged with? As the range of felonies committed in Bulgaria by foreign nationals is quite wide, we will dig into this topic in more detail below.
Foreigners in Bulgaria are being charged most often for the following crimes:
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