Fugitive banker commissions films targeting Peevski

Tsvetan Vassilev’s wife admitted to producing the film on Twitter

Delyan Peevski

Ex-banker Tsvetan Vassilev who is hiding out in Serbia to escape justice commissions media onslaughts and films targeting the sworn enemy of the oligarchy in Bulgaria – Delyan Peevski. The lawmaker of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and publisher of Telegraph Media for years has been the target of the backstage power brokers owing to his legislative initiatives aimed to forestall their shady affairs as well as to the journalistic inquires published in his media outlets.

It is a public secret that Vassilev spares no expense on those who publish manipulative materials against Peevski. However, for the first time ever it was admitted, albeit indirectly, by the ex-bankers closest associates. To be more accurate – by his wife Antoaneta. Her response appeared on social networks on the day when Bulgaria’s Anti-Corruption Fund released the second episode of the film titled CorpBank Case: the Missing Names. The eleven-minute video released only several hours after the scandal over the unlawful visit to Moscow of Nikolay Malinov who was accused of spying for Russia most probably aims at pulling the wool over the public’s eyes. This is just another attempt to cover up the actual ties of the behind-the-stage clique with the shadowy Moscow handlers of the fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev and his patrons in Russia – the GRU general Leonid Reshetnikov and Kremlin’s pet oligarch Konstantin Malofeev.

However, in order to dispel all doubts as to who has commissioned this quasi-journalistic “masterpiece” Antoaneta Vassileva has intervened personally and posted a fresh tweet. In a matter of hours after the Anti-Corruption Fund posted the link for the second episode of the film the lady publicly castigated Nikolay Staykov, the official author of the film, probably in her capacity as contractor and producer. The tweet reads: “DP has never has an office in the CorpBank. This fact doesn’t have to be emphasised in the film. As for BT the information is rather blurred, these are only interpretations a la Malinov. DP did owe money to the bank but it cannot be proven without an in-depth research and interviews of the affected persons. We expect more @ NikolayStaykov!”          

Apparently only the commissioner, producer or sponsor can afford sounding so schoolmasterish. Or all three in one. Nikolay Staykov is the co-founder of the Anti-Corruption Fund and its current executive officer who failed to manage the allotted task. If the spouse of Tsvetan Vassilev gives him such a poor mark then how could we, the viewers, disagree with her?  

Actually the post by Ms Vassileva brings to light the more close ties which both the oligarchic puppeteers and their executors have denied so far. However, the behind-the-scenes players obviously team up and whenever one of the players is short of money the other immediately fills a vacant niche. Following this principle, now the Vassilevs step into the role of the general producers of the NGO which otherwise was founded thanks to Prokopiev’s staffers. In the course of time (and the money petering out) the people of Tsvetan Vassilev started to infiltrate into it. So, now the Anti-Corruption Fund looks as follows: apart from former employee of Capital Nikolay Staykov, who is also the official author of the film, another “quill” of the Fake News Factory flagship Rosen Bosev also sits on the NGO’s managing board, along with the loyal associate of Ivan Kostov and Tsvetan Vassilev, State Security agent Sasho 11, former Bulgaria’s ambassador to Russia Ilian Vassilev.

“Their core activity is to discredit the people they consider as inconvenient,” this is how ex-mayor of Blagoevgrad Atanas Kambitov qualified the representatives of the so-called Anti-Corruption Fund only two months ago. For the Capital circle this organisation is emblematic and it is not by chance that the oligarch has installed his most trusted people there as the lead role among them belongs to the former editor-in-chief of the Capital weekly Nikolay Staykov whose name features in the verbatim record of the ARGO-gate. The role of this unemployed journalist in instigating protests transpires from these records. 

Above him in the hierarchy stands Filip Gunev. The former deputy minister of interior and the right-hand man of the ex-minister of interior, ex-vice PM and incumbent ambassador to Israel Rumyana Bachvarova (also gravitating to the Capital circle) is the chair of the managing board. In March of 2019, when co-founder Staykov became the CEO of the Anti-Corruption Fund, two new stars rose in the Fund and the director’s post went to Boyko Stankushev, former member of UDF and Podkrepa Labour Confederation, former journalist of BNT channel and ex-media advisor to the indicted ex-minister of defence Nikolay Nenchev and a staunch supporter of Yes, Bulgaria led by Hristo Ivanov. Again at that time, the State Security agent, who worked under alias Sasho, Ilian Vassilev also joined the managing board of the Fund. Thus the iconic presence of the Bulgarian Madoff’s man marked a new stage in the development of the organisation which is now swallowing the last grant morsels and urgently needs fresh money and new sponsors.

It is noteworthy that there is something true in the profile of Antoaneta Vassileva – Peevski has never had an office in the CorpBank. This lie spread by Nikolay Malinov who is accused of espionage is so absurd that even the family which syphoned-off CorpBank cannot accept it as plausible and use it to attack Peevski.    

Against this backdrop, we are looking forward to seeing the third episode of the film in which the intrepid soldier of oligarch Prokopiev, Nikolay Staykov will focus on the initials DP. It is unlikely that he did not come across them fingering through the voluminous file of CorpBank. In contrast to lawmaker Peevski, whom the narrator mentions talking about 400 testimonies given in the course of the CorpBank hearings, his name is mentioned only once. Moreover that it was mentioned by the untrustworthy witness Nikolay Malinov, as notes Antoaneta Vassileva.

Contrary to that there is witnesses’ testimony about agent Academician who was not only instructed by Vassilev but also received remunerations. The fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev paid about BGN 1m to hush-up the CorpBank plunder and evade investigation of its collapse, witness for the prosecution Biser Lazarov declared in the courtroom. The grant injected into the Anti-Corruption Fund immediately after its registration also amounted to BGN1m. He who has money to spare knows how to care. And we know well how they care about this money – it is spent on anonymous reports, slandering and reiterated lies.

“Perennial debtor” – talking point of the behind-the-scenes clique

The behind-the-scenes clique sounded the roll call for its paid media army. All of the odd twenty soldiers gathered in the parade ground and gave a salute to their generals, Ivo Prokopiev and Tsvetan Vassilev. There was also a group of soldiers, obviously on tranquilisers, who showed clear symptoms of anxiety.

All together they embraced the talking point about the “perennial debtor” Peevski and started shooting blank at the lawmaker and publisher of Telegraph Media inspired by the idea that some of them may leave the parade ground with an award – be it a teddy bear or some cash. 

The oft-stated lie about Peevski’s loans was this time screened as a film produced by the Anti-Corruption Fund. There was a special show for the soldiers of the paid army during which the new talking points were communicated. They were made familiar with the new tune – if you are an enemy of the oligarchy you become a perennial debtor. 

It doesn’t matter that both Delyan Peevski and his family have long duly paid off all of their loans and at that long before Tsvetan Vassilev’s financial pyramid had collapsed. This loan, once taken and repaid, will linger in like a vicious shadow of the media battering ram. Several of the Bulgarian oligarchs, Ivo Prokopiev, Sasho Donchev and Ognyan Donev, use such battering rams while fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev has his own task forces.  

“Geshev has hushed up the fact that the companies of MRF and Peevski took loans worth of BGN 500m from CorpBank,” blows the whistle Frognews, the site run by the fugitive banker. That was something like a comic interpretation of the parody of a film which leaves no doubts as to who had sponsored it and why.  

A day after the film about the “perennial debtor” Peevski was released Frognews, the private site and something like a press center of the fugitive banker, turned up for a resit. The tightly-welded team of agent Academician (Ognyan Stefanov) has whipped up a hotchpotch claiming that the loans provided by CorpBank to companies and persons connected with MRF and its MP Delyan Peevski amount to about BGN half a billion, according to the bank’s credit portfolio made available to Frognews. However, it is apparent to the naked eye that following the old habit of the State Security agents they impute to Peevski connections with the companies he has nothing in common with.  

From the testimony of Biser Lazov, the key witness on the “heist of the century” which resulted in syphoning off billions from CorpBank it transpires that after the bank’s collapse agent Academician was instructed over a cheap phone by Tsvetan Vassilev who fled abroad and the latter also kept in touch with lawyer Lazar Karadaliev facing charges for money laundering. “He purchased cheap phones with flashlights for them just to be able to talk with them. The phones had Vivacom test SIM cards because the numbers on these cards are not officially registered and they could talk freely without being afraid of wiretapping,” Lazov explained. Apparently, the cheap phones are still in use and the State Security agent still receives instructions concerning the loans which, as the fugitive banker knows best, have been long repaid.

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