Bozhkov launches new attack against the state

Instead of paying BGN 700m to the state treasury, he posts fakes on Facebook

Vasil Bozhkov

Indicted oligarch Vasil Bozhkov has fabricated yet another of his attacks against the state. This time he accused the Prosecutor's Office of ruining cultural and historical treasures confiscated during the searches in his offices. The oligarch steadily pursues his purpose with a series of attempts to defend his unlawfully acquired collection.

In a post on his personal Facebook page, Bozhkov claims that “unlawful plunder” of hundreds of artefacts from his collection has been carried out by the Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Culture, and that it continues to this day.

This claim is downright wrong. As early as on 31 January, the Prosecutor's Office rebuffed as groundless the accusations that the items of cultural and historical value have been confiscated from the property of Bozhkov without meeting the requirements for their transportation and safekeeping. Siyka Mileva, spokesperson for the Prosecutor General, announced that the articles are being confiscated according to the legally established order and in the presence of the best Bulgarian experts. “This is a hybrid attack against the Prosecutor's Office launched by indicted Bozhkov and persons related to him, who claim that the artefacts have been broken and dumped out into bags,” Mileva said already then. She underscored that the Prosecutor's Office was well aware whom they were up against, knowing that they were confronting a gambling structure which owns millions and will use those millions in order to protect itself, including through such publications in the media.    

On 24 May, Vasil Bozhkov, who is hiding out in UAE, launched his first attack and the next day another one followed, similar to the previous, which - as it became clear - was supported by the professional protester Ivet Dobromirova. According to his post, Bozhkov insists that, starting from January, an “unlawful plunder” of hundreds of artefacts from his private collection has been carried out by the Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Culture, and that it continues to this day. He, however, conveniently misses to mention that the largest part of this same collection actually is not registered and the Ministry of Culture is yet to make analysis as to how part of the artefacts were acquired and whether they are properly documented.

Instead, Bozhkov again makes excuses: Thracia Foundation has sent messages to a number of international institutions, including the UNSCO headquarters which, in turn, sent the signal back to its office in Bulgaria. Bozhkov again hurls accusations and hints that the Permanent Delegation of UNESCO for Bulgaria was controlled by people connected with the government, without specifying any concrete names.

Bozhkov stands accused on at least 11 counts, among them are influence peddling, keeping and expropriation of cultural and historical artefacts not registered in due order, being a ringleader of a crime group involved in racketeering, attempt at bribing of officials and inciting malfeasance. A separate pre-trial proceeding is investigating Bozhkov for extortion, murders and rapes. The Gambling Commission has drawn up an act for the gambling firms of Vasil Bozhkov for BGN 700m in unpaid taxes to the state treasury. It has turned out that the gambling boss lavished this money on his fantastic adventures in Courchevel. Instead of paying to the state the owed money, Bozhkov squandered about a million euro a month. He used to hole up in a company of women and men in a deluxe chalet by the name of Edelweiss, which can be rented for €500,000 per week. The same amount of money is spent on hiring personnel and a good stock of Champaign, shrimps and black caviar. At the deluxe ski resort, his guests enjoyed adventures offered by a spa complex with a 13-metre swimming pool, the latest model of a hi-tech Jacuzzi, and a private waterfall.

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