An inquiry conducted by Bivol established that the company that built with European money the defective trails in the Vitosha Mountain near Sofia is Infra Roads Ltd and the person behind it is Vassil Bozhkov AKA “The Skull”.
The existence of the absurd project was reported on December 30, 2015 by Nova TV, and the director of the Nature Park Vitosha justified it with harsh climatic conditions, natural disasters and human vandalism.
“This alley was made in 2014. It is located in harsh mountain conditions. The damage that we see now is the result of two elements that are unpredictable. One is the rising water and the other – the human vandalism,” the Director of Park Vitosha, Snezhana Petrova, explained in the Nova TV report.
However, there is no explanation why the impact of these “elements” has not been foreseen and planned in the bid in order to build sustainable and quality amenities.
The company Infra Roads Ltd. has won individually or in consortia contracts for 28,761,156.00 levs, of which 22,831,198 levs in EU funding. The majority of the bids have been won during the term of the current government – 13,229,559 levs, according to a reference in the Bivol’s public procurement search engine.
Vitosha Park has awarded to Infra Roads contracts in the amount of 1,713,076 levs, all in 2014 and 2015, after the appointment of Snezhana Petrova as its director.
Infra Roads Ltd is owned by Infra Building, which in turn is owned by Infra Holding JSC and its representative is Anton Vassilev Bozhkov. He is the son of the infamous gambling boss Vassil Bozhkov The Skull, who had construction business as well, but transferred it to First Investment Bank (FIB), because of high debt.
According to the shareholders’ book of Infra Holding Vassil Bozhkov is the largest shareholder in the company. He personally owns 26.79% of the shares. Another 14.51% is held by Vabo 2005 Ltd, which is solely owned by Bozhkov. Nove Internal Ltd, also owned by Bozhkov, is among the shareholders as well.
In a classified diplomatic cable on the Bulgarian organized crime by former US Ambassador in Sofia, James Pardew, written in 2005, Vasil Bozhkov is listed boss of one of the biggest organized crime groups, whose “illegal activities include money laundering, privatization fraud, intimidation, and extortion and racketeering.” The cable further recalls Bozhkov’s links with other organized crime groups such as “Intergroup” of Mladen Mihalev “Madzho”. Also known as SIC, this is a group with whose activities current Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has allegedly been involved as well.
The Skull had good positions in the previous government “Oresharski” and there was talk that he had his own “quota” among ministers. Deputy Prime Minister Daniela Bobeva and his former partner, Deputy Minister of Tourism Braminir Botev stood out as some of his people. The public procurement inquiry shows that the company Infra Roads had good standings with the cabinet “Oresharski” and the caretaker government “Bliznashki” as it has been awarded contracts in the amount of over 12 million levs.
This post is also available in: Bulgarian