Halil Ismail was arrested for importing about 105 kilogrammes of heroin, and the Plovdiv Court of Appeal upheld the decision to place him on remand and maintain his “detention in custody.” The accused, who holds dual citizenship in Turkey and France, challenged the Haskovo District Court’s decision to convert his sentence into cash bail.
On August 15, 2022, customs officials at the “Captain Andreevo” border crossing stopped a “Volkswagen” with French registration driven by Ismail. They discovered the narcotic substance, which has a total value of 9.5 million BGN. The smuggling is enormous, and the case is severe, according to the prosecutor’s office. The criminal code punishes this offence with 15 to 20 years in prison and a fine of 200,000 to 300,000 BGN.
Police took him to the Regional Office for Alcohol and Drug Testing, where he hid €200 in the uniform pocket of Junior Police Inspector Alexander Alexandrov to avoid being searched. He was arrested and later tested, and the results came positive for crystal meth. A paper fold containing 2 grammes of a white crystalline substance was found in his pocket during a search.
The appellate magistrates claim that according to the investigation made in the early stages, there is enough evidence to support a reasonable suspicion that Halil Ismail participated in the alleged act with a high degree of involvement. The explanations and the questions posed to the workers who were on shift pointed in this way. The accused first objected to being questioned. This heightened the attention of the customs officers. The substance in 209 tape-wrapped bundles discovered under the seats and near the spare tyre tested positive for heroin in a field test.
Halil Ismail is a foreign national and does not have a residence in Bulgaria; the Court came to the conclusion that there is a genuine risk that he may commit a crime or evade capture if subjected to a lighter pretrial detention measure. He admitted it, but there is still a considerable risk of his committing another crime given the conspiratorial character shown and the method the drugs were smuggled into the car. As a result, the Court decided that “custody” is the most appropriate form of detention at this time for Halil Ismail.