Bulgartabac Mafia II

The "black money" trail -from Vienna to the Persian Gulf

In the first part of the investigation “Bulgartabac Mafia”, we published a key document (see here vtb-livero-belom-sedona) which shows how a deal was organized behind the State’s back prior to the privatization of the tobacco holding.

It was followed by a complete media silence despite the compelling nature of the published document. Even the yesterday’s “fighters” against the model #WHO did not publicly raise their voice, which speaks volumes about their motivation. The only reaction so far, which can be regarded as an allegorical commentary, was a statement of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. According to him, “black money” from smuggling was shaking the government.

Insightful comment. The fact is that if the “black money” in the Bulgartabac deal is proven, evidence of involvement of politicians such as Delyan Peevski, Ahmed Dogan and Borisov himself will become even more relevant. And if their involvement is proven, this will shake not only the government, but the whole pattern of looting and controlling the State – the model #WHO.

So far Bivol managed to confirm the existence of offshore companies in Liechtenstein and the British Virgin Islands that were used in the scheme. The second part of the investigation goes further and proves precisely the existence of “black money” in the privatization of the tobacco holding.


The scheme of the backstage acquisition of the assets of the largest tobacco holding in Eastern Europe also reveals the financing of the call option embedded in the contract that was published by Bivol in the first part of “Bulgartabac Mafia”.

49 million euro came as a loan from VENTRACOR ESTABLISHMENT, which is allegedly controlled by Anton Shterev and Atanas Petrov AKA“Peshtatsite” – owners of the alcoholic beverage producer Peshtera, and 59 million came from a company controlled by the majority shareholder of the failed Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) Tsvetan Vasilev and lawmaker Delyan Peevski – EFV INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL VENTURES. According to the latest operative information, Petrov and Shterev have been subsequently cheated and at the end eliminated from the deal, and their share has been redistributed.

According to the letter of attorney Angelov to Vasilev, some sums to EFV were wired by the company TABACO EMEA TRADE LIMITED, an intermediary in the payments. This company was not to be used once the scheme was finally installed.

However, significant changes occurred in the preliminary scenario as revealed by another secret document that Bivol managed to obtain (see here: EFV-Livero-TGIMiddleEast).


Dubai Connection

EFV’s participation in Angelov’s scheme and the specific amount of 59 million are fully confirmed by the loan assignment agreement between EFV and TGI Middle East FZE. The latter is a Dubai company that fully bought out the debt of LIVERO and subsequently became its owner.

The document reveals that there was a loan agreement between EFV and LIVERO worth 59 million euro, signed on September 23, 2011, for a term of three years.

EFV assigned this receivable to TGI against 45,414,388 euro on November 7, 2013. Paragraph 13 of the contract, however, explains that the assignment is part of an agreement for the acquisition of shares and receivables between TGI Middle East FZE and PANIM FOUNDATION.

This confirms with documents the second central protagonist in the scheme “Angelov” – a foundation with the participation of Delyan Peevski’s mother and of Tsvetan Vasilev.


The money was transferred to the account of EFV in the Zurich branch of the British bank Coutts. That is the same bank account from which EFV has paid millions to offshore companies registered to the names of Bulgarian trade union leaders Konstantin Trenchev and Dimitar Varbanov. This was revealed in a previous investigation of Bivol, but so far the prosecution remains silent and deaf to this mechanism to buy political influence that we exposed in detail.

In early 2014, LIVERO declared before the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) that its new owner was TGI Middle East FZE. The CPC decision makes it clear that the owner of TGI Middle East FZE is another Dubai company – PREST TRADE. An unnamed individual stands behind it. The Commission did not see anything wrong with the deal, as it believes that this individual was not engaged in trade activity. And this is despite the apparent covering up of all tracks, of the origin of the money and the real owners through a complex web of offshore companies and transactions. The identity of that person turned out to be one of the biggest secrets in the State. It is even possible that all individuals are actually the same person…

Currently Bivol does not possess a similar loan assignment agreement with TGI’s other creditor in the deal – VENTRACOR ESTABLISHMENT. But apparently there was a deal, because at some point in early 2014 LIVERO and TGI posed as the only owners of BT INVEST. By mid-year, the ownership of BT INVEST included another Liechtenstein offshore – WOODFORD ESTABLISHMENT. Its owner is also one of the great mysteries we are about to unravel.

State Institutions Provide Cover Up for Shady Groups

The huge scandal here is evidence that the man who signed the document with which the ownership of Bulgartabac de facto changed is both the CEO of Bulgartabac Holding and of its owner BT INVEST. The reading of the signatures on the loan assignment document showed that this person was Ventsislav Cholakov, who is also the Director of the main sponsor TGI Middle East FZE. This is an undeniable fact – outrageous conflict of connected parties and illegal concentration, thus it is important to find out whether it was declared to Bulgarian regulators.

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Неоспоримо – подписът на изп. директор на Булгартабак Венцислав Чолаков стои и под документа за цесията, с която дубайска офшорка придобива дял в Булгартабак.

Ventsislav Cholakov, (together with attorney Angelov) is known as one of the most loyal people around MP Delyan Peevski. Our attempt to contact him on his mobile phone and through the press office of Bulgartabac proved unsuccessful.

Has the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC), which oversees public companies, at all manifested some interest in those controlling TGI? Was Stoyan Mavrodiev’s Commission aware that Cholakov is also the Director of the firm acquiring the second largest public company in the country, on whose Board sits… Cholakov? Were these facts conveyed to the CPC? By the time of publication, we had not received responses from the FSC and the CPC to the questions we sent them.

Another major question is whether the State Agency for National Security (DANS) has noticed the hidden “Dubai Connection.” Has DANS been interested to find out from where these 45,414,388 euro that TGI has paid to EFV for its ownership in LIVERO, respectively Bulgartabac, came from and what is their origin? Cholakov hardly pulled them out from his own pocket and, even if he personally had such amount available, this should be of interest for DANS and the financial intelligence. According to a letter sent to the American Embassy, which Bivol published (see here), this is money from Bulgartabac cigarettes smuggling in the Middle East, including through terrorist Islamic organizations. The questions that Bivol sent to DANS remained unanswered.

If the information is correct, the deal for the acquisition of Bulgartabac is a severe case of money laundering from criminal activity. DANS stubbornly failed to reply to our inquiry whether there is information on the origin of these funds.

But if they are clean and legitimate, why were they hidden behind such questionable loan assignment? Hidden behind a deal which had been concealed from the Bulgarian society and institutions until now.

Is #Who actually behind LIVERO, SEDONA, BELOM, PANIM and WOODFORD? What was the origin of the other 45 million euro given by VENTRACOR as loan to LIVERO to acquire BT INVEST? How much and what was the origin the money that TGI paid to VENTRACOR for the assignment of the loan? These are other important pieces of the puzzle that hides one of the most gruesome pictures of our times:

“black money” from smuggling to terrorist organizations and political corruption at the highest State level

This puzzle is, however, one of the windows to the secret and hidden world of the so-called “Backstage Rule” which irrevocably dictates and determines all processes in the State; which creates and changes the political projects of power as it pleases.

“Everyone knows” and “believes” that Bulgartabac was privatized through mafia principles and is controlled by a certain circle of people closely associated with the higher echelons of power and of banking capital, but no one has so far submitted documents confirming it. However, this situation is about to change. Not because the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office has done its work, but because there is evidence of money laundering from criminal activity – activity performed by real protagonists in jurisdictions in the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, where the judicial system does not need to reform. It is a simple matter for prosecutors in these countries to uncover the end monetary beneficiaries of offshore companies and to seek explanations from the “almighty” lawyer Andreas Shurti and other key protagonists in the scheme. They will be discussed in the sequel.

To be continued…


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