Authorities provide cover-up for a dangerous organized crime group in the Bulgarian northwestern city of Vratsa

Crime Group Ringleader Busted Speeding while High on Cocaine

Anri Parvomayev Kovachev has been arrested on Friday, January 5, 2018, at 7 p.m. on the main road connecting the capital Sofia with the town of Mezdra after a race with а police patrol car. He has tested positive for cocaine and has spent the night in detention. A speedy pre-trial proceeding has been launched.

The news would not be anything special unless it did not involve one of the ringleaders of a criminal group in the Bulgarian northwestern city of Vratsa, dealing with drug trafficking, fraud, racketeering, arson, plots for the murder of the publisher of the Zov News site, and threats against journalists.

The absurdity here is that there is evidence that this person has committed way more serious criminal offenses that can be proven through a number of documents and by witnesses, all published by Bivol in a series of investigations, but has been detained for a routine traffic violation.

Cocaine Channel Organizer

Already in September 2017, Bivol wrote that Bulgarian retiree Tsvetanka Evstatieva has named before Swiss authorities brothers Anri and Mancho Kovachevi from Vratsa as organizers of a drug channel for cocaine trafficking (see here and here).

The Swiss, in turn, have officially sent this information to their Bulgarian counterparts, only to be ignored by the Interior Ministry of and the Prosecutor’s Office. As they have done earlier, when Tsvetanka begged them to help her get back her apartment after falling victim of property fraud masterminded by the brothers.

Her grandson, Iliyan, told us in a recorded video interview everything about the fraud and the criminal plot. Hours after Bivol’s publication, the young man was brutally attacked and beaten in broad daylight. The police did nothing and the perpetrators remain unknown. Eventually, Iliyan was forced to leave the country.

A former member of the group, who was also recorded on camera, told us about murder plans against our Zov News colleagues. Against the backdrop of total media silence and cover-up for the mobsters, the information caused serious reactions abroad. Organizations such as Reporters Without Borders (here) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE (here) issued special statements addressed to the Bulgarian government. The scandal even ended on the agenda of the Council of Europe (here) but it was again downplayed for the Bulgarian public.


Fraud, arson, racketeering, murder, and police cover-up

The former member and accomplice is Milko Atanassov Stoyanov. He revealed shocking details about the crime group – numerous crimes, racket, arson, and contract murders, among others. Stoyanov has described in writing and in detail his experience on dozens of pages that have been sent to Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov and the Chief of the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP), Ivaylo Spiridonov. There, he also expresses his firm desire to surrender, be arrested, and become a protected witness.


A Page ot Milko Stoyanov’s handwritten claim in which he states that he wishes to become a protected witness.


A video, showing the close ties of the group with local police, where its members are seen hugging and kissing police officers, was also broadcasted on bTV, one of the top three TV channels in Bulgaria, while Bivol’s Director Assen Yordanov was telling the story about the gangsters from Vratsa. To date, there are no consequences for the caught on camera policemen.

Local anti-mafia police and their role

The relations of Kovachevi’s gang with the authorities probably extend beyond ordinary local policemen since its members boast of their excellent relationship with the local Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime (BOP).

On the last page of his statement to the Prosecutor General, among other shocking facts that will be published later, Milko Atanassov Stoyanov asserts that members of the group have given BGN 3,000 to someone from the BOP to stop the search for him.

There is no information whatsoever to date on an investigation against the Kovachevi brothers and the other members of the group in spite of local and international evidence and the testimony of the repentant accomplice. On the contrary, after visiting the GDBOP for questioning, instead of being arrested as he desired, Milko Atanassov Stoyanov was released and set free at large. In a phone conversation with a Bivol reporter, the witness said he was worried because the gangsters had been looking to find him and had been harassing his family and children.

According to insider information obtained by Bivol, even after the publications about the dealings of the group, Mancho Kovachev had traveled undisturbed to Italy where the mother-in-law and ex-wife of Anri live. On his part, Anri Kovachev continues to live a lavish live and lead police on car chases.

All this is happening in a country that just undertook the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, but where criminal and power structures have merged into one.

Details about the group’s criminal business in Europe will be revealed in the sequel of this investigation, which we are conducting in partnership with our colleagues from abroad.

(To be continued)



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