The Member of the Parliament from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Kiril Dobrev, has officially only declared participation with 55% in Pirin Wat Ltd, owner of the Hydraulic Power Plant (HPP) “Toplika”. However, through his mother Elka and other proxies, he controls HPP “Flesh” and the electric power trading company “Terra Cap” Ltd. This emerged from the MP’s correspondence with Georgi Kalpachki who holds a high position in the power utility CEZ.
In the period 2012-2013, Kalpachki has rendered comprehensive services to the electric power business of the MP. He has sent insider information from the information systems of CEZ on competitive HPPs and on large users of electricity; has prepared business plans for companies dealing with electricity trade; has informed about upcoming decisions of the State Commission for Electricity and Water Regulation (DKEVR) and has even manipulated the data on the power capacity of HPP “Toplika” for the benefit of its owner Kiril Dobrev.
“Yesterday, at 3 pm, I was at a meeting organized by the Regulator on the issue of lack of enough money to compensate the preferential prices from renewable energy sources,” Kalpachki wrote to Kiril Dobrev on September 14, 2012
“Semerdzhiev (Head of DKEVR at the time – editor’s note) said that the regulator has fixed the prices for the access of the renewable energy sources that they should pay to the power utility companies, effective September, 17, 2012, probably as a fee charged to electric power customers.
Currently, I have the opportunity to change the installed power capacity of “Toplika” from 832 KW to 980 KW, this how I deliberately have listed it with us and it is in your favor for…
But if they introduce this power tax from September, 17, 2012, you will have to pay a little more for the difference of 148 KW.
The exact power capacity is recorded in the Contract for Access to the Distribution Network, which should be signed. So, you should call me to find out more and for us to agree on this.”
He is referring to decision C-33 / 09.14.2012 of the Regulator that became effective on September 18, 2012, under which the producers of renewable energy were required to pay an access fee to the operator for the entire quantity of electricity they produce. Subsequently, this decision was challenged by the producers and revoked by the Supreme Administrative Court.
Approached for comment, CEZ announced that they have launched an internal probe in the case and after it is finished, they will comment on whether there was a breach and how exactly the manipulation of the power capacity benefited Dobrev.
Dobrev is also involved in electricity trading
By the end of 2012, Kalpachki also sent to Dobrev two business plans for companies trading electricity. The first is for the company GROUP TRANS ENERGY, which previously belonged to GROUP PLUS, but was subsequently sold to a Belgian company and a Panamanian offshore. However, the ownership of GROUP TRANS ENERGY has not been changed since April 2012, which means that the proposed deal did not happen.
The second business plan is for the establishment of the company “Terra Cap” that began at the end of 2012. Officially, its owner and manager is a person who is not associated with Dobrev, but the correspondence shows that the lawmaker has the final word on the control of the company. Dobrev’s “mole” in CEZ sent him detailed information on the “good customers” – large users to which “Terra Cap” could eventually sell electricity.
Dobrev also received from Kalpachki a form letter for the change of the electricity supplier intended for “Terra Investment”. The company is the formal owner of the luxury hotel “Belchin Gardens” in which the MP officially has no participation. However, it became obvious from his leaked mail that Dobrev controlled even the smallest detail in the construction and the operation of the hotel.
The hidden companies of Bulgaria’s ruling elite
Another email, sent to Dobrev by Gancho Kolaksazov (former Deputy Mayor of Plovdiv for European Polices and former BSP member), shows that the concealment of partnership in companies is a regular practice in the Socialist Party. On March 11, 2012 Kolaksazov sent referrals for the company MARITSA LOGISTICS SERVICE LTD and wrote the following:
This concerns business; I don’t know if I have told you about this company, however, it deals with construction equipment, transport of oversized cargo and specialized workforce. I am sending you a file with a presentation about their available equipment and the services they offer. I am their partner, though nowhere officially. You can help by introducing us from time to time to some people; we will deal with everything else. For example – Milko from Pons – they need such equipment for waste treatment plants; he moves about the country; it would be nice to meet him and offer him business collaboration. Second example – Lukoil is launching a large investment; they will need cranes. There, however, the wife of the business director is pulling the strings, but they will still need specialized workforce. Third example – if you are going to establish some new HPP, you will need equipment (we are currently in negotiations with one such investor with two new HPPs).
And many other such things… This is all for now, greets.”
Pons is a well-known Burgas-based company, revolving around BSP, but also connected with the Mayor of Burgas Dimitar Nikolov over the affair with the wild beach Coral. It was selected alongside the companies of controversial lawmaker Delyan Peevski for the construction of the flopped South Stream gas pipeline project.
It is not clear why Kolaksazov is hiding as a partner in the company, since in 2012 he no longer occupied a position of power. However MARITSA LOGISTICS was established at the beginning of 2010, when he was still Deputy Mayor of Plovdiv. It is clear that the Socialists present their business as a conspiracy of people “loyal to u s and reliable”. That is according to the epistolary masterpiece that Martin Slavov sent to Kiril Dobrev, which Bivol published a while ago.
“Not just some manager, but a manager of the companies of Krassimir Premiyanov…”
Hidden companies are apparently an open secret in the Socialists circles. For example, in the correspondence between Galina Assenova from BSP Pernik, Kiril Dobrev and Ivelin Nikolov, Assenova is commenting on a little-known persona:
“… And this Mario Traykov was some candidate for manager of TTAG IMPORT EXPORT Ltd, and even the leadership was behind him, hah. I get nauseous just by reading his brochure.”
“Not “some”, but a manager of the companies of Krassimir Premiyanov (high-ranking BSP functionary – editor’s note),” replicated Ivelin Nikolov.”
The correspondence refers to Mario Tomov Traikov, who is the manager of TTAG – IMPORT – EXPORT Ltd. and has stakes in FISHERS-5 LTD, SENT TOMA-KO and PIRIN MNG-IMPORT-EXPORT LTD. Naturally, Premiyanov does not appear as the owner or manager of these companies.
These findings call into question the effectiveness of the future Unit for Combatting Corruption, which will have full investigative powers and direct access to bank accounts from whose analysis one can eventually detect politicians-beneficiaries of hidden corporate activity. Of course, these companies get the tasty procurement orders for national and municipal sites through the intervention of “Kiril” and his power-vested colleagues from across the political spectrum. Meanwhile, the public is left with nothing else, but to rely on occasional leaks of information to learn what big business is boiling behind the political facade.
*The correspondence is kept in our editorial office and is available should the prosecution decide to act
This post is also available in: Bulgarian