Russian trace in money helping Gebrev seize Dunarit (INVESTIGATION)
Tsvetan Vassilev’s associate is in partnership with a company, which is connected to RSK MiG and suspected to have ties to FSSMonitor News Agency , Sofia
A Russian trace and the shadow of the Federal Security Service (FSS) of Russia lurk around the money that Tsvetan Vassilev’s associate Emiliyan Gebrev paid to try and seize control of Dunarit. Meanwhile, in order to draw attention away from the Vassilev-Gebrev duo’s attempts to acquire the military plant with money that can be traced back to the Kremlin, the media outlets funded by the fugitive banker and his oligarchic friends are trying to pin non-existent appetites for Dunarit and absolutely fictitious Russian ties on lawmaker and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski (See here).
For the past over two years, the arms dealer has been taking steps to be registered as the owner of the military plant, with an estimated value of nearly BGN 300m, using various schemes devised by the fugitive banker, whom Gebrev serves. So far, however, the only money Gebrev has actually paid is the ridiculously low sum of BGN 12.4m, which is merely 4% of Dunarit’s market value. Furthermore, the money was given to another of Vassilev’s cronies – Ivan Ezerski – and not to the failed CorpBank, which provided Dunarit’s corporate group with approximately BGN 200m in loans. The money Gebrev paid came, on paper, from a bank loan he took out. However, the debt was paid off almost in full from a Polish account within weeks. Our investigators have not been able to ascertain the origin of the account but it is suspected that the money in it come from a local partnership between EMKO and the Polish company Polit-Elektronik, a mixed-ownership company tied to RSK MiG, revealed an investigation conducted by Monitor News Agency.
The saga with the Vassilev-Gebrev duo’s attempts to acquire Dunarit started back in 2016. At the beginning of that year Ivan Ezerski, another individual considered to be close to the fugitive banker, became the owner of TMN EOOD, through which he immediately made a move to become a partner in Kemira – the parent company of Dunarit – and acquired a majority stake in its ownership via a capital increase. The deal was challenged in court by CorpBank, given that the previous year the assets of Kemira were distrained following claims filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission for Illegal Assets Forfeiture (ACCIAF) and the National Revenue Agency. And so, TMN was unable to get registered as an owner of Dunarit’s parent company.
That is why, a new scheme was employed. On 7 July 2016, Kemira sold to TMN the majority stake in Dunarit – 7,960,426 shares in total. A month later, on 17 August, Ezerski, in turn, sold the shares to EMKO EOOD at an absurdly lowered price for BGN 12.4m in total. That same day, the minority owner of Dunarit Asen Babanski, a figurehead working for Vassilev, sold to Emiliyan Gebrev, through EMKO, the remaining 38,574 shares in the military plant. The minority stake is the only one that Gebrev can hold legally. The reason is that the majority stake in Dunarit is under distraint, which was placed through Kemira at the request of several public institutions. And so, even though the participants in the scheme rushed to file EMKO in Dunarit’s shareholder register as the owner of the abovementioned nearly 8 million shares, the change has not been reflected in the Commercial Register because it is in violation of the country’s laws.
The scheme through which Gebrev paid the BGN 12.4m to Ezerski is just as interesting. According to the deal’s documentation, officially EMKO’s owner took out a €22m loan from a Bulgarian bank. The loan was approved specifically for the purposes of the Dunarit sale but Tsvetan Vassilev’s associate never used the entire sum.
He transferred the money to Ezerski in two tranches. On 2 September 2016, TMN received BGN 12.5m from EMKO and then another BGN 350,000 on 27 September. By October, a total of €17,280 of the money in the loan account had been used, but then Gebrev restored most of it in November. It was then that EMKO repaid the bank €12,280 (double what was paid for the Dunarit shares). The money for the payment came from a Polish account with an unknown origin, which gives the investigators reason to believe that this could be a case of money laundering.
It is noteworthy that right at the time when the money was restored the contract with Poland expired, according to which EMKO was a counteractant along with Polit-Elektronik, the company that was an official representative of Russian concern Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RSK MiG). The contract was concluded in 2014 and envisaged supplies of 17,000 Bulgaria-manufactured free-flight missiles with S-5 warheads (a Soviet model of 1955) to the Polish Ministry of National Defence. Its cost amounted to 144m Polish zloty (about BGN 55m or €26,6m). The conclusion of this contract triggered off a real tsunami in the political life of Poland. There are several reasons to that. According to the Polish media, these missiles are archaic weaponry, which is used predominantly by the insurgents in Libya, Syria and some African countries.
The second reason is that Polit-Elektronik has scandalous reputation in Poland. This is the company accountable for the repair works on government aircraft TU-154 that crashed near Smolensk on 10 May, 2010. It this crash all 90 people on board perished, among them Polish president Lech Kaszynski. And, last but not least, in 2013, a year before the contract was signed, Valdemar Skrzypczak, then deputy state secretary of Poland’s defence ministry, in his response to a member of the Polish parliament announced that Polit-Elektronik “… has become an official member of the Russian Aircraft Corporation RSK MiG and for this reason it is not possible to eliminate the company as a go-between in another deal, namely on the certified repair of RD-33 engines of the Polish MiG-29.”
The conclusion of contract on S-5 became the reason for the query of the MPs of the parliamentary upper chamber to the Ministry of Defence and on 9 May 2014 the letter of Sejm deputy (lower chamber of the parliament) Dariusz Seliga to Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak was made public. The letter was published in the syndicate bulletin of MESKO munitions plants. It reads: “I kindly request you to take under your personal and special supervision the tender procedure for the purchase of missiles for the Polish army… I am concerned about the fact that in the management of Polit-Elektronik there are former FSB (Federal Security Service) of the Russian Federation. That is why, Mr Minister, I plea you to watch over this deal closely as it would be strange that Russian agents should deliver equipment to the Polish army.” Nevertheless, the contract was eventually signed. The official reason was that consortium of Polit-Elektronik and EMKO was the only contractor that made the offer for the delivery of defence items.
Gebrev felt ill after dinner with Polish partners
At a news conference on Monday after the meeting at the Council of Ministers of the Prime Minister, Prosecutor General, Minister of Interior and chief secretary of the Ministry of Interior and chairman of the State Agency for National Security, Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov announced that no traces of Novichok nerve agent were detected in Gebrev’s urine and blood samples and there is no evidence that he was poisoned like Skripal. And it is exactly this lead that the media financed by Tsvetan Vassilev and his associates, oligarchs Ivo Prokopiev, Ognyan Donev and Sasho Donchev, are trying to bring home to public in order to divert attention from the attempts of Gebrev and the fugitive banker to steal Dunarit.
Tsatsarov also announced that Gebrev felt ill on 28 April 2015 right after the meeting with his Polish partners in the Kempinski Hotel Zografski in Sofia. By that moment the deal between Gebrev and Polit-Elektronik was underway in Poland, but the arms boss himself was not yet engaged in the scheme for the appropriation of Dunarit. For that matter, Gebrev’s hospitalization coincided in time with another deal – arms supplies to Ukraine.