Venezuelan sports official detained in Bulgaria

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgarian customs officials said yesterday they had detained a Venezuelan, whose embassy said he worked for the sports ministry, carrying 407,000 euros in undeclared cash through a Sofia airport.

Jose Ovidio Almeida, who arrived on an Oct 2 flight from Caracas via Madrid, is no longer in custody but may not leave the country while prosecutors decide whether to bring charges.


A Venezuelan embassy official said Almeida is a sports ministry official who was authorised to carry the money to pay for a training camp. If found guilty, he faces a fine of double the amount of money involved, or up to six years in prison.

Travellers entering Bulgaria have to declare if they are carrying more than 10,000 euros.