Anyone who studies the trade in classical antiquities knows that the Balkan countries supply much of the 'fresh' material on the market today. Last week, in preparation for a lecture, I was doing some more research on the coin trade and happened across this interesting publication on the internet, Organized Crime in Bulgaria: Markets and Trends, which was published by the Center for the Study of Democracy in 2007. At approximately 200 pages this document addresses many illicit trades in Bulgaria, but the last chapter (pp. 177ff.) addresses the antiquities trade and also comments on the ancient coin trade in particular. The chapter on the antiquities trade is available as an individual download as well, but one would have to check the first pages whole document for citation information. The chapter, as indeed does the entire document, makes occasional allusions to the involvement of some corrupt politicians in the antiquities trade and makes some interesting observations on trade networks and practices. In my opinion, it makes for a very interesting read and perhaps I'll have some more comments in the future.
While we're on the subject of the destruction of Bulgaria's cultural heritage to supply the inventories of European and American dealers, it is worth mentioning that Bulgaria also seems to attract tourists who travel to the country to treasure hunt while on holiday. A colleague provided me with a citation to a TZ-Online article (auf Deutsch), which talks about two German treasure hunters who were recently caught prospecting for antiquities in Bulgaria: "Zwei deutsche Schatzsucher festgenommen," TZ-Online, 24.04.08.