Bulgaria’s Anti-Corruption Boss Fails to Declare Thousands for Purchased Properties

Апартаментгейт:

The apartments and garages purchased by the Chairman of the Committee for Combatting Corruption and the withdrawal of illegally acquired property (KPKONPI) (sic) Plamen Georgiev and his wife in 2012 and 2017 are listed in the tax declarations at significantly lower prices than the prices they were purchased for and entered in the Property Register, a check by Bivol reveals.

The discrepancies become noticeable by comparing the data declared before the Property Register with the data in the Georgiev’s family declarations submitted in 2013, 2015 and 2017, which are posted on the official site of the KPKONPI.

Thus, in 2012, Plamen Georgiev Dimitrov declared an apartment with two parking spaces in the “Geo Milev” district in Sofia for BGN 207,318, but according to the Property Register, BGN 264,310 had been paid. The difference is BGN 56,992.

Two years later, Georgiev acquired a garage and declared it for BGN 6,845. However, the price entered in the Property Register is BGN 17,157.7. The difference is BGN 10,312.

In 2017, Plamen Georgiev and his wife acquired an apartment of 156 square meters for BGN 452,785.7 and a garage for BGN 42,133.8. However, another price is entered in the tax declaration – an apartment for BGN 293,374 and a garage for BGN 19,558.

This amounts to a total of BGN 249,292.5, which is missing in the declarations of the top fighter against corruption.

Earlier on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, the site Frog News calculated, based on Plamen Georgiev’s public tax declarations, that the declared apartment prices are below the market ones. It turns out, however, that Georgiev’s problem is different. Calculated by square meter, Georgiev has paid even more than the market price in the district, according to the site imot.bg.

However, Plamen Georgiev should explain now why he failed to declare the full amount paid for the properties as well as the origin of the income for these payments, which are duly entered in the Property Register as they appear in the notary deeds.

There is also the question of who can investigate the head of the body that is tasked to investigate precisely such inconsistencies between the declared and the actual amounts paid for properties.

Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov himself, before taking office, was also exposed by Bivol in declaring properties at 1/1,000 of their real cost.

Plamen Georgiev was the personal nomination of another “ApartmentGate” protagonist – Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Deputy Chairman of Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), Head of the GERB Parliamentary Group and former Interior Minister – to lead the new anti-corruption commission, with Prime Minister and GERB leader, Boyko Borisov, supporting this nomination. As a prosecutor, Georgiev became known for squashing the investigation into leaked recordings, known as the “Hello, Vanyo” in which Borisov is heard ordering the then Head of the Customs Agency, the late Vanyo Tanov to stop a Customs inspection at a brewery in Northern Bulgaria.

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