Bulgarian El Chapo admits: He is waiting for help from Tsvetan Vassilev

Vasil Bozhkov

The indicted oligarch Vasil Bozhkov, aka the Bulgarian El Chapo, must be really desperate because he just signaled for the mafia and the oligarchy to come together against the state. The gambling tzar, who defrauded the state of BGN 700m and promptly fled to Dubai, posted a video on his Facebook page, in which he is once again calling on all the oligarchs and mobsters to unite.

In one of his messages, the oligarch mentions the bad actors who have fled abroad and who he will need in the future. One of them is fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev, who stole BGN 5.6bn from CorpBank and is currently holed up in Belgrade. At the end of his post Bozhkov says: “Over the next 10 days I will present to you my proposal for how the Bulgarian Summer project should be developed.”

That Bozhkov has political aspirations was first revealed in the local elections held last autumn when former ombudsman Maya Manolova ran for mayor of Sofia. Valeri Simeonov, leader of the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, recently said that her campaign was financed by the gambling tzar Vasil Bozhkov. In doing so, Simeonov shed light on something that was rumoured for a long time: that Manolova was a project of the behind-the-scenes clique in Bulgaria. Through her, Bozhkov aimed to ultimately gain a national player under his control – the plan was for her to use the platform of overseeing the vast resources of the largest city in the country as a springboard for a successful general election campaign.

Even though the former ombudsman’s mayoral aspirations crashed and burned, she announced just a few weeks ago her intention to run in the general elections next year and get back into politics. If you are wondering where she is going to get campaign funding to do so – the answer is right there in the words of Simeonov, not to mention the connection between Kadiev and the political GMO that is the party led by Manolova, which is clearly funded by the gambling tzar already slapped with 18 charges by the prosecutors – for ordering four murders, for multiple rapes, racketeering and assaults as well as financial and tax crimes.

Several weeks ago, the Bulgarian El Chapo, as the gambling tzar has been dubbed, lobbed another grenade in his attack against public institutions in the country – photos of bank statements for huge sums of cash withdrawn from a national lender. The oligarch tried to say that the money was to pay off Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov who wanted money to leave him alone.

Tsvetomir Naydenov, former partner of Bozhkov and now the lead witness against him, disproved the story. He noted that the dates on which the sums were withdrawn suspiciously coincided with the period of the local elections held last year, in which Bozhkov backed Maya Manolova’s candidacy. The oligarch also spent copious amounts of money on a luxury lifestyle that included Playboy girls, yachts and private jets and on “media support”. To that end, Bozhkov used to take international fraudster Barak Alon to the expensive French resort Courchevel, who in turn got the oligarch in touch with the CEO of bTV Florian Skala.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Administrative Prosecutor’s Office has tasked the head of the Directorate for National Construction Supervision with immediately carrying out a probe into the construction of Villa Aglika, owned by Vasil Bozhkov and located in the Vitosha Nature Park.

On-site inspection will be conducted and all relevant information will be requested, including status of the land; right of ownership or construction; and the cadastral map as well as general and detailed site development plans that are in effect. The entire investment process, including all the pertinent components and legal requirements, whether the construction permit (if there is one) is in line with the provisions of the relevant regulations will be reviewed for potential violations as part of the investigation.

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