Procurement: Cheap, No Questions Asked

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June 15, 2012: Bulgarian police stopped a van near an air force ammunition storage facility and found two military personnel and 103 stolen air-to-ground rockets. The government fears that this theft, and others that were undetected, are related to a large program to dismantle and dispose of thousands of tons of Cold War era surplus ammunition. Although all the dismantled munitions, and their components, are supposed to be carefully tracked, there is great temptation to sneak away say, a vanload of munitions, pay someone to make it all correct in the paper work and sell the stuff to the many criminal gangs in Bulgaria that deal in this stuff.  There is still an active weapons black market in Bulgaria, along with smugglers who can get the stuff to customers in the Balkans or the Middle East.

Bulgaria has long been notorious for the degree of corruption in the government and commercial sectors. It was the source of many of the Cold War surplus weapons that were illegally smuggled to warzones throughout the world in the 1990s. In the last decade a lot of that bad behavior has been curbed. Bulgaria is under a lot of pressure to tone down the corruption if it wants to remain in NATO and the European Union.

 

 


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