Emiliyan Gebrev lies about Dunarit on air

He claims to have been poisoned after showing interest in the plant but he is off by one year on the chronological order of events

Emiliyan Gebrev

There is one basic rule that every liar tries to stick to: always remember exactly how you lied about something because the mastery of lying is in the details. In other words, in the era of internet and free access to information, every word can be checked and therefore be the reason why a lie is exposed. The arms dealer Emiliyan Gebrev must have skipped these lessons in his communist training prior to 10 November 1989 because he dares to lie shamelessly on national air these days – and about things that can be checked with one click, at that.

In this particular case, we are referring to his assertions that he was poisoned (with Novichik, again according to him – editor’s note) because of his publicly expressed interest in acquiring Dunarit. We are purposefully not using the term “buying” because the goal of Gebrev and his partner in the scheme aimed at taking control of the military plant, the fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev, has never been to pay the real price for the company but to steal it under the nose of the state, which is Dunarit’s main creditor (editor’s note – albeit indirectly, as the direct and indirect liabilities of the plant to CorpBank, and through the lender to the state, exceed BGN 200m).

In his latest TV interview, given once again on a bTV programme, Gebrev said that his supposed attempted poisoning happened just a month or two after “information about my interest in Dunarit was publicly revealed in February”.

However, it is obvious that Gebrev is lying about the chronological order of the events because a simple inspection of the news feed for the period between the beginning of 2015 and the middle of that year shows that such information was not published in any one media outlet. This is perhaps because in 2015 he had aspirations towards a different company in the defence industry, as the archives reveal. Gebrev was hospitalised on 28 April 2015, exhibiting symptoms of poisoning, following a dinner with Russian and Polish partners of his. Shortly after he was discharged, Gebrev really did file the paperwork to acquire a Bulgarian military plant but it was not Dunarit – rather it was the Scientific Research Technological Institute (NITI), which makes AK-47 submachine guns. It is worth noting that the NITI deal fell through in January 2016 and only a month later Gebrev shifted his focus to Dunarit, filing with the Commission for Protection of Competition for a permission to acquire the plant.

Following the chronological order of events is obviously a challenge for Gebrev and the entire clique around Tsvetan Vassilev. For nearly a year now, they have been conveniently forgetting the fact that Vassilev was trying to gift Dunarit to the Russians for the entire 2015. At the time, the fugitive banker was working hard to pull off his shady plan to get, together with his Russian partners, his hands on lucrative assets worth a total of €1bn and bought with money stolen from the depositors of the failed CorpBank. As early as 31 January 2015 the stage entered the Belgian with Russian passport Pierre Louvrier, who signed a deal with the financial fraudster hiding in Belgrade to buy shares in exchange for €1 through the Luxembourg-incorporated company LIC33, set up especially for the purposes of the scheme. Thus, the so-called €1 gang tried to gain control of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company, its digital broadcast TV network NURTS, the military plants Dunarit and Avionams, GARB Audience Measurement Bulgaria, and the multiplex First Digital. The mastermind behind Louvrier was Konstantin Malofeev, known as the Russian Orthodox oligarch. Almost two months later, on 24 March, Louvrier officially stated his intentions but after a huge public outcry was forced to pull out on 22 August 2015. Then came another actor in the seedy play – Russian Dmitry Kosarev, another friend of Vassilev and Malofeev. But that attempt to steal the assets failed miserably too.

Gebrev himself effectively conceded that singling out Dunarit as the reason why he was poisoned does not sound plausible by inadvertently admitting publicly to another detail in the chronological order of events in the campaign to take over Dunarit. In several interviews he says that he was invited to enter Dunarit by Asen Babanski. However, the latter joined the management of Kemira – the direct majority shareholder of Dunarit – only after Louvrier left and long after the incident with Gebrev. In fact, Gebrev can easily refresh his memory about the business appetites he had in 2015 by perusing the archive of the publication Capital, which ironically now claims, just like Gebrev, that his attempted poisoning was connected to Dunarit. However, four years ago Capital wrote that the arms dealer coveted NITI and not Dunarit – something the publication is now trying to turn a blind eye on.

But why is the arms dealer all of a sudden trying to spin these tall tales? To get to the agenda of Gebrev and Vassilev, one needs to trace the smokescreens the two create to deceive the public.

What is the truth that the circle of people around the fugitive banker is hiding? The total outstanding debt owed by Dunarit and its corporate group to the lender CorpBank, whose failure was engineered by Vassilev, is BGN 200m. The already repaid amount of about BGN 50m reflects the claims that Viafot transferred to another company, which in turn transferred them to CorpBank in the summer of 2017. This clearly shows that Viafot no longer has anything to do with claims on Dunarit debt and has never had anything to do with the ownership of the military plant. At the end, the claims were repaid to the final creditor – the State Consolidation Company – by Dunarit and not by Gebrev. Dunarit is in good financial state, making it attractive to Vassilev and the arms dealer. It has an estimated market value of nearly BGN 300m, annual turnover in excess of BGN 160m, and net profit of over BGN 35m.

In summary, the situation is the following – after embezzling billions from CorpBank, the Vassilev-Gebrev duo is now trying to steal a lucrative asset funded by the lender. Presently, the main creditor of CorpBank is the state, which provided a loan for billions of leva so that the Deposit Insurance Fund could repay the depositors defrauded by the fugitive banker. So the most logical thing is for the state to recover the outstanding debt of BGN 200m owed by Dunarit and its corporate group to CorpBank by taking control over the plant and selling it. Anything else would be a highway robbery. Not that such a thing would be a novelty to Vassilev, who is at the bottom of the entire scheme to steal Dunarit. He continues to hold assets for hundreds of millions of leva bought with CorpBank money. 

Tangled in his own lies, Gebrev quickly changes his tune on BNR

Within the span of mere hours on Tuesday – between his interview on bTV and the one on the Bulgarian National Radio – Emiliyan Gebrev was forced to concoct a new theory about his attempted poisoning. After it became clear that in April 2015 he could not have been targeted because of his investment interest in Dunarit, which formed no earlier than 2016, and that his hitherto fables had inspired only laughter and ridicule, the arms dealer, who got rich selling a drug called Captagon with the backing of the late Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov, quickly invented another story.

In his BNR appearance he said that he started “working” on the deal for the acquisition of Dunarit back in February 2015 – obviously an attempt to fit the timeline around the April incident with the visits to Bulgaria of Sergey Fedotov, believed to be a Russian military intelligence agent.

However, the attempts at emergency PR damage control crashed and burned because Gebrev’s advisors, including the former Russian intelligence agent Boyko Noev (defence minister in the cabinet of Ivan Kostov), are not prepared to answer even the simplest questions related to this version of events:

1. Considering that the Dunarit deal between Tsvetan Vassilev and Pierre Louvrier happened in February 2015, with whom exactly did Gebrev “work” – with Pierre Louvrier or perhaps with his master Konstantin Malofeev?

2. If it was with Malofeev, who at the time had complete control over the plant through his puppet Louvrier (who was even registered as manager and proxy), what exactly did their agreement involve?

3. Or was Gebrev making plans with Tsvetan Vassilev in the early 2015 so they could scheme Konstantin Malofeev out of Dunarit?

This latest lie told by Gebrev completely debunks his previous insinuation that the poisoning was connected to interests of the company Viafot, which supposedly wanted to prevent EMKO from taking control of the military plant in 2016.

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