Georgi Iliev, boss of VIS-2 and Assen Dimitrov (sitting)
Asen Manolev Dimitrov, who in 2012 (2013?) was elected Member of the Bulgarian Parliament on the ballot of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), was a representative of the murdered crime boss Georgi Iliev, ringleader of the group VIS -2.
Dimitrov acted in the past as football boss and in 2001, together with Georgi Iliev, was the manager of the football club “Locomotive Plovdiv,” shows the guide for “people of interest, figuring regularly in stories about organized crime” of the International Organization for Investigative Journalism, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP.
Media publications from the beginning of the century also reveal ties of Asen Dimitrov with the mafia group VIS-2, which was subsequently renamed VAI Holding. According to Capital weekly, Dimitrov, who owns the advertising agency NESI, is the “chief coordinator, image maker and exponent of the interests of VIS – 2” in Bulgarian football.
Georgi Iliev, who is a professional wrestler, headed VIS -2 after the fatal shooting of his brother Vasil Iliev in 1995. Other prominent members of this group are Metodi Metodiev AKA Meto Ilienski, the missing since 2003, Konstantin Dimitrov AKA Samokovetsa, who was shot and killed in Amsterdam, and Anton Miltenov AKA the Beak, shot and murdered in Bulgaria. Plamen Timev AKA Gandhi and Nikolay Tcvetin are surviving emblematic VIS -2 figures.
“As the largest player in the drugs market, VAI controls trafficking routes, production facilities, and distribution networks. The group is also involved in trafficking stolen automobiles from Western Europe to the former Soviet Union. Its other criminal activities include extortion and racketeering, illegal arms trading, gambling, prostitution, and smuggling,” former U.S. Ambassador to Sofia, James Pardew, wrote about VIS-2 in 2005 in a classified diplomatic cable, revealed by Wikileaks.
Iliev was shot on August 25, 2005 in the Sunny Beach resort. On the same day, he was photographed at the stadium in Burgas as Asen Dimitrov (left) sat and on the bench behind him.
In 2007-2008, Dimitrov has produced boxing show programs in the so-called “Professional League” with Krasimir Ininski, who is also linked to Georgi Iliev, through “Diamond Club” LTD and “Rick – G” LTD. One of the stars of the league is Alexander Patsov, a longtime inmate, detained in 2012 as part of the gang for illegal drugs distribution of Hristoforos Amanatidis AKA Taki.
Pictures of Dimitrov and Patsov: http://proboxliga.com/e107_plugins/my_gallery/my_gallery.php?gallery=Gallery/Gallery/photo1
After VIS-2 – Political Career
According to a publication in LiveNews, which is no longer available online, but is preserved in the archives of the site, Asen Dimitrov works for BSP since 2009 and is close to current BSP leader and President of the Party of European Socialists (PES), Sergey Stanishev; Dimitrov is seen as the author and ideologue of two notorious election campaign video clips from 2009. One was a warning to voters that if they “support the then informal leader of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, Boyko Borisov, (who later won the elections), they would end up with the leader of Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB), and former Prime Minister, Ivan Kostov. The clip featured the transformation of Borisov’s face into Kostov’s image, reinforced by the admonition – “if you support Boyko, you will get Kostov.” In the second, Stanishev and former Socialist leader and now former President, Georgi Parvanov, were shooting at each other in a duel. In it, Stanishev is heard saying in Russian “I am not an arhar dear.” This was a referral to accusations that during his official visit to Uzbekistan in early November 2008, in his capacity of Bulgarian President, Parvanov shot a wild mountain goat, the “arhar” – a protected animal, registered in the endangered species “Red Book.” (The story was first published by the internet news site Fergana.Ru, registered in Moscow.)
The former municipal leader of BSP in the city of Sliven, Martin Slavov, has also spoken publicly about the close relationship between PES President Stanishev and Asen Dimitrov, former representative of VIS-2. After the scandal with a leaked in the media recording, which revealed that he had asked 100000 levs (USD 70 000) to withdraw from the Sliven mayoral race, Slavov demanded Stanishev’s resignation and pointed at Asen Dimitrov and Krasimir Yankov as his archenemies, close to the BSP leadership.
As result of the scandal, Martin Slavov was expelled from BSP, while, at the Congress of the party in May 2012, Asen Dimitrov and Krasimir Yankov were elected members of the National Council i.e. of the extended leadership of the Socialist Party.
Reports and photos from the campaign to collect signatures for the construction of the Russian-sponsored Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of NPP Belene from the summer of 2012 show that Asen Dimitrov has been persistently escorting Sergey Stanishev around the country.
By the time of the editorial closing of the article, the press office of BSP and the Office of Sergey Stanishev did not answer Bivol’s email request for comments and its questions about Dimitrov’s career with VIS-2.
Underworld figures striving for political career is not something rare in Bulgaria. The crime bosses from the town of Dupnitsa, known as the Galevi Brothers, are a notorious example of this. They ran in the general parliamentary elections in 2009 in order to gain immunity, thus avoid prosecution. There is currently an international search warrant for both of them as they vanished after receiving a final guilty verdict for racketeering and assault. Alexey Petrov, AKA the Tractor, accused of racketeering and extortion, ran for president in 2011. At the beginning of 2013, top secret documents, which leaked in Balkanleaks, exposed then current Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov, in links to organized crime in the 90s.
International observers rank Bulgaria in the group “Mafia States*” due to the abundance of such examples and to sluggish justice, while the European Commission regularly underscores organized crime as a major problem for the country and the reason for Bulgaria being denied access to the Schengen area.
*REF: Moses Naim, Foreign Affaires, Mafia States http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137529/moises-naim/mafia-states
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