Pavel Marinov (center) accompanies Sergey Stanishev and Plamen Oresharski during a visit to Burgas, photo Pavel Marinov, personal blog
The Governor of Burgas Region Pavel Marinov has concealed properties, foreign companies and an active mortgage in his tax declarations submitted in his capacity of Member of the Parliament and of Regional Governor.
Marinov is the local leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, in Burgas. Before being appointed by Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski to represent the State in Burgas, he was elected MP from the region on the ballot of BSP.
In his capacity of Regional Governor and of State Servant, Marinov is mandated under the Act for Preventing and Establishing Conflict of Interests to submit declarations because he is an individual holding public office. Under these requirements, it is obligatory to declare participation in companies, in their management boards, and in control over legal entities. The law further requires declaring outstanding obligations with loan granting and financial institutions if their amount exceeds 5000 levs, where the exact amount of the loan and the name of the creditor must be listed.
Since Pavel Marinov’s declarations cannot be found on the official site of the Burgas Regional Administration, Bivol inquired in writing this information, citing the Act for Access to Public Information, and obtained the Regional Governor’s two declarations. They reveal that Marinov failed to declare that he is a proxy for two foreign companies. Both are named “Interlog,” one is registered in the UK, the other – in the State of Delaware, USA, which has the statute of offshore zone. Bivol’s investigation established that both companies have been omitted in Marinov’s declaration, submitted on July 7, 2013, under the Act for Preventing and Establishing Conflict of Interests and the Act for State Administration.
Complex Scheme with Hidden Offshore and Foreign Companies
Marinov owns and has declared 5.5% of the shares in the company “ZTV” JSC. This company owns the coal processing plant in the town of Kableshkovo. The company manufactures products for the electrical and electronics industry. The majority shareholder in the company with 51% stake is “Alamak Inter” JSC, which is owned by a Russian corporation with the same name. For 3 years “Alamak Inter” has been officially represented by “Interlog USA “registered in the offshore State of Delaware. Pavel Marinov is precisely the representative of “Interlog USA” for Bulgaria. Whether to hide this representation or for some other reasons, Marinov, in turn, has re-authorized Maya Petrova Ruseva from Pomorie, who is currently member of the Board of Directors of “Alamak”.
Another 25.2% of the shares of “ZTV” JSC belong to “Interlog Bulgaria” Ltd., owned by the British company “Interlog Balkans.” This company, in turn, was owned by the American “Interlog” Ltd. In 2009, however, as proxy Pavel Marinov has transferred 50% of the shares of “Interlog Bulgaria” to “Interlog Balkans” registered in the UK. It is interesting to take a look at the contract for the sale of the property. In it, Pavel Marinov has signed for both sides as seller and buyer.
From this intricate offshore scheme, it emerges that Pavel Marinov is a shareholder in this company as well and is even the manager of the British company.
Bivol inquired an answer from the Regional Administration about the reasons why Pavel Marinov failed to declare the two companies. We received the following answer from its PR office: “both companies you are quoting in your inquiry about the Regional Governor have been active until 2009. Since 2010 they are no longer active and have been delisted.”
Documents in the Trade Registry, however, show something very different. Just one week before assuming public office, on June 11, 2013, in his capacity of current manager of the active company “Interlog Balkans,” Marinov has appointed Leonid Shopov as manager of “Interlog Bulgaria” Ltd. This has been rejected by the Bulgarian judicial system – two days later, the Registry Agency, sent directions to “Interlog Bulgaria” Ltd., notifying them the new manager cannot be listed in the registry because the owner, a foreign legal entity “Interlog Balkans,” could not be established! As of the moment, these directions have not been complied with and the UK company has not provided documentation for its validity.
Also as of the moment, Pavel Marinov is the de jure representative and manager of the company “Interlog Bulgaria” Ltd. This is one of the companies which, as a person holding public office, he has so carefully concealed in his declarations for conflict of interests. Why could that be? Maybe because under the Act for State Administration (Art. 19 paragraph 6) governors represent the executive power and are banned form acting as ” traders, trade representatives, procurators, brokers, liquidators or trustees “.
But this is not all. As a proxy of “Interlog USA”, which is allegedly delisted since 2010, Pavel Marinov, has re-authorized another individual to represent him in the general meeting of shareholders of “Alamak Inter” JSC, held on June 14, 2013, to release “Interlog USA” (INTERLOG LLC) from membership in the Board of Directors.
Marinov was nominated Regional Governor on June 3 and was appointed on June 19 with a decree of the Cabinet Oresharski. As of the moment, there are no documents in the Trade Registry for the termination of Marinov’s powers for “Interlog USA” and “Interlog Balkans.” On July 7, 2013, he failed to list these two companies in his declaration under Art. 12, paragraph 1 from the Act for Preventing and Establishing Conflict of Interests and Art. 12 paragraph from the same Act.
As MP Marinov Failed to Declare an Apartment and a Mortgage
The “conspiracy” with the foreign companies is far from being the only discrepancy in Marinov’s official declarations as State servant. Before becoming Regional Governor, he was MP elected on the BSP ballot. A check in the Property Registry shows a serious discrepancy – as MP, under the Act for Public Disclosure of Property of Senior Government and Other Public Officials, he has not declared these companies either and failed to list his exact assets. He only listed ownership of an apartment in Burgas with an area of 72 square meters.
However, according to the Property Registry, Marinov does not own such apartment. He owned a total of 3 apartments in Burgas. He inherited one of them, located on “Strandzha” street in Burgas, and sold it as early as 2002. But it is inexplicable why, to this day i.e. 11 years later, Pavel Marinov has a registered address at that same location? The law mandates him (and everyone) to immediately declare address changes before the Interior Ministry, even if during this period he had not renewed his personal ID card.
In his MP property declaration, Marinov has also omitted information about an apartment of 60 square meters in the “Slaveykov” quarter in Burgas, which was mortgaged with Raiffeisen Bank in 2004. Several years later, the mortgage was paid off and was closed. Marinov is also the owner of an 86.48-square-meter-apartment in the “Lazur” district in Burgas, which has been mortgaged twice with DSK Bank – one from 2003 in the amount of 30000 levs and one from 2005 for an additional 91924 levs. Both mortgages are still open and there is no listed closure. These mortgages have not been declared by Pavel Marinov as well, which is obligatory under paragraph 9 from the declaration. He has listed only one apartment of 72 square meters, acquired in 2002 for the sale price of 40000 levs, according to the declarant. This apartment, however, is not listed in the Property Registry.
To an inquiry of Bivol before the Regional Administration about the discrepancies in the declaration and the Public Registry, its PR office replied the following: “Burgas’ Regional Governor owns one sole apartment where he currently resides. As of today, he has no mortgages.”
|Plamen Oresharski Assumed Full Responsibility for the Appointments of All Regional Governors
From the weekly political talk show “Panorama” of Bulgaria’s National Television (public TV), BNT, Friday, September 13, 2013.
Plamen Oresharski (PO): I assume personal responsibility for all regional governor appointments.
Host: Categorically, are you going to assume responsibility for every appointment made by the Cabinet?
PO: I already bear this responsibility.
Host: Including for regional governors, their deputies, on all levels?
PO: Yes, including regional governors. I have underscored it and I underscore it now that particularly regarding regional governors, I sought nominations from both parties that support the Cabinet. I think this is a sensible approach.
Host: What responsibility are you assuming now – your own or somebody else’s?
PO: My own, I just asked them for nominations.
After the Prime Minister’s firm statement that he assumes full responsibility for the appointments of all regional governors and their deputies, Bivol is beginning to publish data, facts, and documents exposing heads of Regional Administrations in breaches of the law, and exposing their conflicts of interests and connections.
Who Is Pavel Marinov?
In his own blog, Pavel Marinov introduces himself as a graduate of the First Department of College “Georgi Dimitrov,” which he has successfully completed in 1990. For those readers who may not know it, we only wish to clarify that this department is actually the “State Security Major” from the infamous training school in Sofia of the Communist Ministry of the Interior. Many of the “heroes” of the Transition Period, who established the backstage criminal-oligarchic model of rule of Bulgaria, are its graduates.
What are the reasons for the illegally concealed facts about the business and the contacts of one on the new public officials appointed by Oresharski’s government? Whose interests are being served and who are the individuals connected to State power? We will try to provide answers to these questions in follow-up investigations.
This post is also available in: Bulgarian