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Bulgaria Charges Six With Financing Syrian 'Terrorist' Groups As Network Uncovered

Bulgarian law enforcement arrested 43 people on January 18 in raids throughout the country. (file photo)

Bulgarian prosecutors have charged five Syrians and a Bulgarian woman with financing terrorist groups in the Middle East.

"The group transferred at least 25 million euros [$29 million] to terrorist organizations over four years," said Rumiana Arnaudova, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, on January 19.

Deputy Attorney General Ivan Guechev said the network was "without precedent in the European Union."

The money transfers are alleged to have taken place since 2016.

Special forces arrested 43 people on January 18 in raids throughout Bulgaria on a suspected criminal ring that had been financing terrorist groups.

Arnaudova said the financing had been carried out across the border using the traditional Muslim "hawala" system that is difficult to trace.

The criminal ring had also bought dozens of cars in Bulgaria and transported them to terror groups in Syria via Turkey, which borders Bulgaria.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP