Bulgarian Citizen Finances Strache

Nikolay Marchenko

There are new developments in the described by Bivol case of the Bulgarian connection with the Austrian Freedom Party, the “moneybags” and the party’s former leader and former Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache. Former Freedom Party MEP Barbara Kappel told leading Austrian media that she had been a courier for Heinz-Christian Strache and the money received from Bulgarian Stoyan Staykov had been intended for the party. She describes Staykov as a “dangerous person” and an “agent”.

Earlier, Bulgarian entrepreneur Stoyan Staykov commented before Bivol that he had known Barbara Kappel for a long time and had provided a EUR 75,000 as a personal loan to the MEP, not seeing anything wrong with that. The amount mentioned in the Austrian media was EUR 55,000.

Kappel also made another revelation about Staykov, who lives in Vienna. According to her, he had been interested in acquiring the leading Bulgarian retirement fund Doverie from the Austrian Vienna Insurance Group (VIG).

“S. wanted, together with a partner, to buy the Bulgarian retirement fund from an Austrian insurance group; eight million had already been invested. However, the process slowed down and he asked me to intervene,” Kappel told Oesterreich 24.

She denied the Bulgarian’s claims that the money had been given to her as a “loan”. “I was a money courier for the Freedom Party,” says Barbara Kappel. The former MEP also states that the Bulgarian entrepreneur is under investigation.

“Pretty Dangerous Man: He was an Agent”

Is how Kappel describes Stoyan Staykov before Der Standard. The newspaper adds that “the businessman, who often resides in Vienna, is currently suspected of money laundering and, if convicted under section 165 of the Penal Code, may receive up to ten years in prison.”

Bivol was not successful in obtaining comment from Barbara Kappel herself, but we were able to contact Staykov. He described the new publications in the Austrian media as “a search for sensations and spy mania”.

Before Bivol, Stoyan Staykov portrayed himself as a victim and commented that he had been asked for a “loan” by Barbara Kappel long before the Heinz-Christian Strache scandals broke out, adding he does not even know Strache. He denied being told that the money was for the Freedom Party.

“I don’t know what she did with the money I gave her,” he said.

Asked if he felt a victim of this scandal, he stated, “Well, of course. My lawyers have already filed complaints with the competent authorities, including against the media publications.”

He answered in the affirmative whether he planned to sue the former Austrian MEP who made the infamous statements about him. According to Staykov, he had not intended to acquire Doverie and had himself alerted to a dubious deal.

“I myself am part of the investigation team into Doverie; I have never had an interest and desire to acquire this company; I have no money for that either,” Stoyan Staykov said.

In the company of State Security agents

Barbara Kappel’s words that Staykov had been an agent could not be confirmed or denied, as Stoyan Staykov had not been checked by the Bulgarian Files Commission tasked with inspecting the Communist Regime secret services’ (the State Security or DS) records.

Staykov represents the Vienna office of the National Security Association (NAS). Its headquarters are located in the Bulgarian capital Sofia at 48 “Hristo Botev” Blvd., Room 32, in the building of the Union of Bulgarian Army Reserve Officers. According to the Statute of the NAS (Article 7, Paragraph 1), “the members of the Association may be Bulgarian citizens who have worked or are working in the security services and through their activities and personal behavior have contributed to the strengthening of the national security of the Republic of Bulgaria”.

The Chairman of the NAS, Colonel Chavdar Petrov, is also the Vice-President of the Union of the Army Reserve Officers and Sergeants. He has a strong record in the State Security structures.

From 1974 on, Chavdar Kirilov Petrov has worked in the Ministry of Interior in the field of counterintelligence. He is a graduate of the Academy of the Ministry of Interior. His last position has been Deputy Director of the National Investigation Services (NSS) at the Ministry of Interior, where he has been in charge of “economic and internal security”. He retired in 1996. During the Communist Regime, Petrov has been a full-time State Security officer, exposed by the Files Commission when inspecting the company “FIX PLUS FINANCIAL HOUSE”. His partner in the financial house, Lachezar Eftimov Ivanov, is a former full-time employee of the Intelligence Directorate of the Bulgarian National Army General Staff.

Recently, Colonel Chavdar Petrov commented in Bulgarian media on the Russian spy scandal as follows: “Russian intelligence must have hit the bottom if it had acted in such a rudimentary way.”

The only representation abroad of the NAS is in Vienna, Austria. It is managed by the Bulgarian entrepreneur Stoyan Staykov at 1010 Vienna, Kaerntnerstrasse 17/13.

There is another Bulgarian company in Vienna at the same address. Plamen Shukyurliev (Herr Plamen) is listed as a member of the board of TRUSCO Finanzholding AG, located at this address.

According to Bulgarian media, in 2012, the government appointed Plamen Shukurliyev Ambassador to China.

According to the Files Commission, the former Ambassador has also been affiliated with the Intelligence Directorate of the Bulgarian National Army General Staff.

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