Former PM Ivan Kostov's daughter pockets over €5m state money through Prokopiev's figurehead

Investigation by Nikolay Barekov's Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) has revealed the ties between CorpBank, Tsvetan Vassilev, the Capital circle and the former PM

The younger daughter of the Commander of the bandit privatisation and former PM Ivan Kostov - Mina Kostova, pocketed over €5m state money, thanks to a deal with a "golden building" arranged by people in the power of the Capital circle and realised at the time of the Borisov-2 Cabinet.

This is stated in an investigation of the Anti-Corruption Front of the former MEP Nikolay Barekov. It was published yesterday by the Brussels-based English-language publication EU Reporter, after the organisation firstly presented it as a warning of the so-called Anti-Corruption Fund. The second organisation presents itself as an independent investigative NGO, but in fact, it is a part of the mainstream media machine of Ivo Prokopiev's Capital circle, of which personnel it is composed.

The investigation itself shows once again the ties between Ivan Kostov, the indicted oligarchs Ivo Prokopiev and Tsvetan Vassilev, the draining of the CorpBank, as well as the state treasury itself. The refusal of the Anti-Corruption Fund to announce it shows that "it is apparently investigating comfortably only topics and individuals that are inconvenient for its sponsor, but keeps silent and refuses to reveal the proven malversations of the real mafia in Bulgaria," Barekov himself commented in the investigation.

At the heart of this fraud is a "golden building" sold by Mina Kostova to the state-owned company ESO Electricity System Operator, which, according to the article of EU Reporter on the investigation, costed over €5m to the state.

The whole fraud started in May 2006, when the company, which was managed by Kostova - Intradings, purchased the land at 201, Tsar Boris III Blvd from the company Sofia Golden Sands, behind which stands her father's favourite restaurateur - the ringleader of the Olympus circle Slavcho Hristov. Kostova built business centre on the land, by a mortgage of €3.8m, set up by one of the country's largest banks, whose CEO was Levon Hampartzoumian at the time.

Before requalifying into a banker, Hampartzoumian was firstly a deputy Economy Minister in Ivan Kostov's Cabinet and then he became a head of the Agency for Privatisation. The investigation of Nikolay Barekov's Anti-Corruption Front also claims that at the moment the building was built, a whole series of companies related to the indicted oligarch Tsvetan Vassilev, through whom the billions of CorpBank were drained, changed their address registrations there as tenants.

This is not the first time when Mina Kostova's name emerges from the CorpBank affair. At the same address in the business centre, the company related to her and her family Antorna was re-registered, with which company one of the eminent borrowers from the saving vault - Aflik Bulgaria has signed a consultancy contract for a total of BGN 270,000. The company is considered to be part of the companies established by Tsvetan Vassilev to launder the billions he plundered from the safety vault. In the testimony under the CorpBank case, the main witness against the defendant banker-oligarch Tsvetan Vassilev - Biser Lazov, revealed that by personal order of Vassilev, Mina Kostova received BGN 25,000 per month in rents from CorpBank borrowers.

However, the fraud does not end there. After the feeding rack Corpbank is over, apparently the Kostovs family has found a new way to profit - from the state treasury, with the help of the Capital circle of the other indicted oligarch, turned into a multimillionaire namely by the bandit privatisation of Ivan Kostov - Ivo Prokopiev, becomes clear from the investigation. On 24 August 2016, Mina Kostova's company sold the building to ESO, whose boss was Ivan Yotov at the time.

Yotov was appointed to this position in 2010 by the then Minister of Energy in the Borisov 1 Cabinet, nominated personally by Ivo Prokopiev - Traycho  Traykov. Currently, Traykov is a defendant with the ringleader of the Capital circle in the EVN affair together with another protégé of Prokopiev - the former Finance Minister Simeon Djankov. The very deal for the purchase of the "golden building" from ESO was realised during the time of Borisov 2 Cabinet, when Temenuzhka Petkova is already a Minister of Energy.

"This confirms the fact that the energy sector in our country has been a feeding rack for party lobbies since the dark times of Ivan Kostov," Barekov comments, noting that this also explains the silence of Prokopiev's former Justice Minister and current strawman leader of his GMO party. "Yes, Bulgaria" Hristo Ivanov about the tricky affairs of Prokopiev and Kostov. "What prevents you from pointing the names of Kostov and Prokopiev, as prominent representatives of the Bulgarian oligarchy and behind-the-scenes clique," Barekov asked, and his questions were addressed specifically to Hristo Ivanov and the Anti-Corruption Fund. The journalist concludes that the NGO in question "apparently investigates only people who are inconvenient for its sponsor, but keeps silent about the real mafia."

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