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Kidnapped daughter of Bulgarian gang boss released

SOFIA (Reuters) - The 11-year-old daughter of a convicted Bulgarian gangland boss has been freed, seven weeks after being kidnapped on the way to school in the first abduction in the Balkan country since 2009, police said on Monday. Six years after joining the European Union, Bulgaria's justice system remains under special monitoring by Brussels, which has repeatedly criticised Sofia for failing to impose the rule of law and crack down on corruption and organised crime.

Abductors free 10-year-old daughter of Bulgaria 'cocaine kingpin'

The kidnapped 10-year-old daughter of one of Bulgaria's alleged cocaine-trafficking lords, Evelin "Brendo" Banev has been released after 47 days in captivity, police said Monday. Lara Baneva was left at a parking lot in the capital around 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) Sunday and walked to a nearby police station, the interior ministry said. The girl was in good physical condition and was put under psychological care, it added. State BNR radio reported that a ransom of 500,000 euros ($653,000) was paid for her release, but the information was not officially confirmed.

Bulgaria court jails "Cocaine Kingpin" for money laundering

SOFIA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - A Bulgarian court sentenced a gang kingpin on Friday to 7 1/2 years in prison for laundering drug-dealing profits, a small step against rampant organised crime that has slowed the Balkan state's full integration into the European Union. The EU's poorest member has been repeatedly criticised by Brussels for doing too little to fight widespread corruption and gangsterism that which still blight Bulgaria two decades after the end of Communist rule.
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