One hundred and fifty decares of land adjacent to the swamp “Alepu” are being leveled with bulldozers and an excavator – pictures from the site, published on the Facebook page of the group Betonomorie (Concrete Coast), reveal. The heavy construction equipment is guarded by a luxury black Audi.
The location is immediately adjacent to the swamp “Alepu” and falls in two protected areas from Natura 2000 – BG0001001 – “Ropotamo” and BG0002041 – “Ropotamo Complex”, according to the geo-localization portal of the WWF.
Тhe summer scandal with the closed road along the so-called “Drivers’ Beach“ showed that there are some major construction interests in the area, and the municipality encourages them by selling land to private owners and passing Detailed Master Plans (PUPs). For now, at least according to the Cadaster, these 150 decares between the new road Sozopol – Primorsko and the swamp have the status of agricultural land. The deal, however, raises many questions.
For One Lev per Square Meter
An inquiry of Bivol showed that the land was purchased on June 1, 2015 by the Burgas-based company ” Koush Invest” for a declared price of one lev per square meter or 147,929 levs, which is unrealistic even for agricultural land in this area. The seller was the Agricultural-Labor Cooperative (Zemedelska Trudovo Proizvoditelna Cooperatsiya) “Bulgaria”, which has been in liquidation since 2008. It is actually a former Sozopol cooperative that owns hundreds of decares of agricultural land at the “Alepu” site.
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“Koush Invest” is owned by businessman Nedzhet Koush and deals with construction. It advertises on its site investment projects in photovoltaics and in holiday villages. Bivol contacted Nedzhet Koush on the phone and he said that
Definitely Nothing Will Be Built on This Land!
According to him, the construction equipment has been used to clean and prepare for the fall plowing, because the businessman planned to engage in organic farming. A check of the site has been conducted yesterday by the Regional Inspectorate of the Environment and Waters (RIEW) – Burgas and has found no problems, Koush further said. It is known that he is a
Friend of Mayor Reyzi
Asked if he had business ties with Sozopol Mayor Panayot Reyzi, Nedzhet Koush categorically denied, but confirmed that he has been close to him for many years. Panayot Reyzi claimed the same before Capital daily, which first reported the deal in late summer. The Mayor is also adamant that there will be no construction.
“…They have not consulted with me; indeed we are really close friends, but we have not commented on what the intention is. In this area, there will be no construction while I am in office,” Reyzi promised.
An inquiry of Bivol showed that the business ties between the Koush family and the Reyzi family are quite extensive and questionable, starting with agriculture that Koush has decided to develop near the “Alepu” swamp. In his business group – “Koush Invest”, a construction company – is not dealing with agriculture; it is done by “Sozopol Agro Group” in which
Nedzhet Koush Is Direct Partner with the Daughter of Mayor Panayot Reyzi
The company is brand new, established shortly after the land sale on July, 24, 2015, with scope of activity “growing of other perennial crops”. The phone number and the e-mail address of this company coincide with the contacts of the other companies of the businessman – “Koush Trading” and “Nursan Automotive”.
But this business partnership with the Mayor’s daughter is not all. The Sozopol Mayor also has large property deals with Koush’s wife – Fathme – and with the company “Koush Invest”. These transactions are suspicious because Reyzi cashes in impressive amounts for modest plots of agricultural land. This is one of the proven ways to justify income of unknown origin.
At the end of 2009, Panayot Reyzi sold to Fathme Ali Koush a meadow of one decare in Velingrad. The price of 320,000 levs for a property with purpose “field crops” is impressive. No details of how and when Reyzi acquired the terrain, which Fathme Koush owns to date, can be found in the Property Registry.
Fathme Ali Koush is also a partner, together with her husband, in “Koush Invest”. It is this company that in 2011 bought from Panayot Reyzi two meadows near Ravadinovo with total area of 30 decares.
The meadows were formed by the merger of four other properties. In 2012, the National Audit Office exposed Panayot Reyzi in failing to declare exactly these four properties, together with villa in the winter resort of Borovets. Reyzi set at the time a hidden properties record among the mayors from the party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB).
Obviously, with the help of his friend Koush, Sozopol Mayor Reyzi managed to dispose of the problem farmland at a very attractive price. He can now calmly and openly declare the origin of some 600,000 levs in his bank account.
On the other hand, his friend Koush was able to buy other valuable property for a lev per square meter that he will cultivate and use to plant bio cultures together with the Mayor’s daughter, Petya.
Until the time comes to plant something more lasting and profitable, for example concrete, which is provided for in the still-pending General Master Plan for the area.
* No comments on the questions sent to the Sozopol Municipality and the Ministry of Environment and Waters were received by the editorial closing of this publication.
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