The “Besa Trans” Bus Did Not Transport Heroin Production Ingredients
We are reviewing a Facebook post claiming that the Besa Trans bus, which caught fire in Bulgaria and where 45 passengers lost their lives, was transporting precursor goods (an ingredient used in the production of narcotics), which is a false claim
“Besa Trans” was transporting acetate anhydride, a substance used to make heroin, not gas, that is why there was an explosion and 45 people were burned, according to the author of the post, which has over 200 interactions (likes, shares and comments).
The information originally originated from Bulgarian media, but there are a lot of mistakes in the text, and the source is anonymous. There is a conspiracy theory in the text that even if it were proved that “Besa Trans” was transporting acetate anhydride, it would not have been made public, because neither Bulgaria nor North Macedonia would benefit from such an international scandal.
The text falsely claims that the owner of “Besa Trans” is Azdren Ziberi, which is not true. The owner of “Besa Trans” is Bekim Hadziu.
Azdren Ziberi has a passenger transport company, but it is not the same one that transported passengers on the “death trip” to Istanbul. The bus that had this accident is owned by the company “Besa Trans – Skopje” which runs the line to Istanbul, Turkey.
“Besa Trans” from Tetovo and I, Azdren Ziberi, deny the news that was published on several portals on social networks that we participated in the accident in which 46 citizens lost their lives in Bulgaria. The company whose bus had the accident has nothing to do with us, but is a completely different company based in Skopje. Our company “Besa Trans” Dooel – Tetovo for 30 years maintains a regular line Tetovo-Copenhagen (Denmark) every Wednesday and Saturday. Our company expresses its condolences to the families who lost their relatives. Respectfully, “Besa Trans” Dooel – Tetovo,- reads in the denial from Ziberi to the media.
Ruskovska also denied this
Furthermore, officials have already started to deny that the bus of “Besa Trans” was transporting raw material precursor, i.e. raw material for producing drugs.
In an interview with Telma TV, Organized Crime Prosecutor Vilma Ruskovska was asked if it was true that the bus was carrying raw material for the production of heroin.
In minute 4:26 of the interview, journalist Snežana Lupevska Sozen asks prosecutor Ruskovska:
There was speculation in some Bulgarian tabloids, so to call them, that a fast-burning heroin-making substance was being transported. Is that true?
The prosecutor’s response is as follows (starting at 4:34):
When I read that, my colleagues from Bulgaria, the prosecutor and the chief investigator were still here. I showed it to them and asked if it was true. They were categorical that it was not true, said Ruskovska.
Ruskovska adds that the fire started in the trunk above the fuel tank of the bus.
Given that there is no official confirmation, and there is a denial from an official, the Public Prosecutor for Organized Crime (who consulted with the Bulgarian investigating authorities), that the bus was transporting raw acetate anhydride, and given that in the text of the disinformation there are no official sources as to where it originated, but only speculation and other factual inaccuracies (such as the alleged wrongful owner of “Besa Trans”), we assess that it is not true that acetic anhydride, a raw material for heroin, was transported in the burnt bus.
Earlier, there were other speculations that a ton of fuel and 30,000 firecrackers were smuggled into the bus, which were also assessed as false information.