Production line for lies against Peevski

The press office of the fugitive banker spreads false odes to the behind-the-scenes clique

Delyan Peevski

The Fake News Factory once again hit a writer’s block recently and thus found itself resorting to yet another fake news item about lawmaker and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski. In an article entitled “Commission for taking down the competition”, the Factory’s flagship – the weekly newspaper Capital owned by indicted publisher from the town of Razgrad Ivo Prokopiev – includes Peevski’s name without clear connection or reason.

The piece is the latest attempt of the oligarchy’s media to breathe new life into the fake news about the military plant Dunarit and Peevski in the wake of the Commission for Protection of Competition’s recent decision. The CPC effectively threw a wrench into arms dealer Emiliyan Gebrev’s plans to take control of Dunarit and so steal one of the biggest debtors of CorpBank under the nose of the state and the defrauded depositors of the failed bank. Let us remind that with a decision dated 11 April the CPC banned the company of the arms dealer Emiliyan Gebrev, EMKO, from gaining control of the military plant due to the danger of this move creating a monopolistic position on the market.

Naturally, Capital drops Peevski’s name out of the blue, attaching to him some imaginary interests in the plant. Back in 2017, Peevski clearly said in an official statement on the matter that he did not have, had not had and would not have anything in common with companies in the defence industry. “I have never visited any arms expos in India, Sudan, Qatar, Dubai or anywhere else and have never offered for sale ‘assault rifles, projectiles’ or any other military equipment for that matter. The biased and openly dishonest insinuations as well as the attempts at producing totally fake news involving my name are doomed to failure a priori,” he wrote at the time.

At the same time, however, the fugitive banker not only has interest in Dunarit but he desperately needs the military plant so he can continue to embezzle money from it and use the funds to pay his army of well-compensated mouthpieces, lawyers and journalists. Proof of this is the several attempts made by the criminal tandem Gebrev-Vassilev to put a hand on Dunarit.

The first dates back to the beginning of 2016 when the duo tried to take over the company through a capital increase procedure in Dunarit’s parent company Kemira. The scheme was put into motion thanks to another person viewed as a member of Tsvetan Vassilev’s close circle – Ivan Ezerski. Through the company TMN, Ezerski found his way into Kemira as a partner and acquired a majority stake in it via a capital increase. The increase was then registered, reducing the share of the hitherto sole owner Hedge Investment, which owes almost €53m to the failed CorpBank, to 10% of the capital. In July 2016 Kemira sold the majority stake in Dunarit to TMN and a month later Ezerski sold it, in turn, to Emiliyan Gebrev’s EMKO. The deal was at a vastly suppressed value of a little over BGN 12m (according to the numbers provided by Gebrev himself), which is a ridiculously low price considering the fact that the company’s market value is about BGN 300m. However, the deal could not be finalised as the shares had been distrained by the Anti-Corruption Commission for Illegal Assets Forfeiture (ACCIAF), which blocked the transfer of property.

Meanwhile, the tandem set into motion another attempt to take over the plant – this time through the then-executive director of Dunarit Krastyo Krastev, also a strawman of Vassilev’s. Krastev signed a €10m loan agreement with EMKO, pledging the plant as collateral. Such collateral is absurd given that the amount of the loan was lower than the company’s net profit at the time. The CPC’s April decision is the latest slap in the face of the two conspirators.

The most obvious reason for the tandem’s attempts to gain control of Dunarit is that the plant serves as a “piggy bank” thanks to which Vassilev has been maintaining a life of luxury in neighbouring Serbia for years now.

Against the backdrop of Capital and its affiliated media outlets trying to credit Peevski with non-existent interests in all sorts of businesses, it is strange that Ivo Prokopiev, who is indicted in two court cases, has not written a word about his legal troubles but is rather busy defending the fugitive banker. In addition to the EVN deal, the oligarch Prokopiev is being tried for money laundering, in relation to which charge company assets for BGN 200m owned by him and his wife, Galya Prokopieva, have been distrained. Prokopiev and Tsvetan Vassilev are the Siamese twins created by Ivan Kostov during his term as prime minister – a well-known fact despite Kostov’s attempts to disavow CorpBank in his book.

And while Capital people serve Vassilev’s interests in Dunarit, his personal press office, otherwise known as the website Frognews, ran its latest false ode to the behind-the-scenes clique. Using the fact that on 20 April PM Boyko Borissov said that those in power in Bulgaria will be checked for connections to offshore companies, the website of the former State Security agent with the alias Academician is making a list of inconvenient people in public office, whose inspections are of particular interest to the media outlet. The names include representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office such as Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov and his deputy Ivan Geshev; members of the Cabinet; officials of the investigative authorities in Bulgaria, etc. The Frognews article clearly shows two things. Firstly, the frog swamp is worried that someone may probe into its shady deals so everyone who is disliked by the oligarchs (from investigators to media outlets) is promptly defamed, without facts or evidence, of course. Secondly, it is very important that someone say a word or two in praise of the oligarchs’ publications because the truth about them is starting to come out. They are forced to praise each other in a bid to mask the fact that they are publications created by the behind-the-scenes clique for a very specific purpose.

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