Milcho Kiryakov, who is best man of the Deputy Chairman of the party largely representing the Muslim minority in Bulgaria (Movement for Right and Freedoms, DPS), Yordan Tsonev, (notorious with the nickname Dancho the Fraud) and who is considered his right hand in the business, had a credit card from the collapsed private lender Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) with a limit of 9,779 euro at a preferential interest rate of 9%. The standard rates for this financial product in CCB are much higher – 15 or 17% according to data available to Bivol.

The interest offered to Kiryakov is even more lucrative than the credit card of the DPS lifetime honorary Chairman, Ahmed Dogan, which is 10%. Dogan, however, has a much higher limit – 78,233 euro. Energy boss Bogomil Manchev, whose credit card is under contract since 2004, also has 10% interest with 39,116 euro limit.

The controversial former prosecutor Roman Vasilev is at the next level with 12% interest rate for a credit card with a limit of 30,000 levs. Former investigator Petio Petrov, known as Petio the Euro, received less favorable conditions. His card is under contract since 2005 with 9,779 euro limit at 15% interest.

Overall, rates below 15% are rare among the not-so-numerous clients of the bank with Visa cards. The card of Irena Krasteva, mother of another controversial DPS lawmaker and alleged media mogul, Delyan Peevski, has standard rate of 17%. Even cards issued to employees and the management of the CCB are not preferential. The plastics of majority CCB shareholder Tsvetan Vasilev, with the highest limit of 195,000 euro, and his daughter, Radosveta, have 17% interest.

As wrote the Bulgarian Capital daily, which first revealed information on the credit cards of Ahmed Dogan, DPS’ Emel Etem, and of magistrates, only 67 people had credit cards from CCB. Prosecutors refused to deal with the cards of Dogan and Etem as they have not been declared.

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Kiryakov- the best man with the companies and the land

An investigation of the site Mediapool from 2006 incriminates the company Transstroy-Burgas, whose Chair of the Board of Directors is Milcho Kiryakov, in abuse of public procurement tenders. The company absorbed in advance 14.123 million levs of from the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works for fortification of the coast, where five of six contracts were not completed at the time of the journalistic investigation. Kiryakov then turned to the editorial office with a right of reply through… Yordan Tsonev. “We explicitly state that currently there are no politicians, owners of shares in the company. There is no political party that somehow exerts interference or control over the company,” the answer of Transstroy reads.

Milcho Kiryakov is a major player in a huge scam with land, unraveled by the prosecution, but left without punishment over prescription. The whole scale of embezzled and stolen property is truly staggering, reaching over 700 decares of land directly along the coastline of Strandzha Natural Park.

The scheme went through lawyers, who prepared false powers of attorney on behalf of the heirs, and sued for restitution of lands on their behalf. The land registers were also tempered with. After the lawyers restituted the lands, they immediately sold it to companies and individuals associated with Yordan Tsonev’s father in law Georgi Yakimov, with Milcho Kiryakov and architect Kalin Tiholov with whom Kiryakov is in a business partnership. Tiholov is the author of the Detailed Territorial Plan of Tsarevo, providing for mass construction on the protected coastline where these lands are located.

Witnesses also told Bivol about other schemes through which heirs have been cheated. For example, K.B., owner of 18 decares just above the beach near the mouth of Veleka River in Sinemorets, received his property in 2003, but faced obstacles from the municipality to be introduced in possession. He was approached by Georgi Yakimov, Yordan Tsonev’s father-in-law. Yakimov convinced him that he had to transfer half of his property to arrange the entry into possession. The owner signed a power of attorney with which all property was sold to Milcho Kiryakov.

The majority of the stolen through fraud terrains near Varvara, Sinemorets and Rezovo remains in the possession of the companies managed by Kiryakov and Tiholov, but there are exceptions. An investigation of Bivol proved with documents that Yordan Tsonev’s wife, Proletina, personally profiteered by fraudulently usurped land ashore in Rezovo.

According to prosecution, the land is valued at hundreds of millions of euro. Because of the expired prescription, the Sliven Prosecutor’s Office terminated the pre-trial proceedings against the Burgas lawyers for whom it was proven that they forged signatures on civil documents. The prosecution’s decision makes it clear that it did not examine in whose interests the lawyers acted, all while the latter became evident from the land deals as soon as these lands were restituted – in the interest of Kiriakov, Tiholov and Tsonev. It is still unclear what is happening with the investigation of a crime under Art. 308 of the Penal Code for falsification of land records that are official State documents and for which the prescription has not expired.


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