Ex-Lawmaker Builds ‘Guesthouses’ on Municipal Road

by Атанас Чобанов

Evidence of Cadaster forgery and illegal construction on a municipal road emerge from a check of “Leshtenski Ray” (Leshten Paradise) guesthouses in the village of Leshten, scenically situated on the southern slopes of the Western Rhodope Mountain with a view of the Pirin Mountain. The houses are built with European funds and their listed owner is the company “Niki Tour 99”, which in turn belongs to a relative of Dimitar Gamishev, a former lawmaker from the ruling party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB). The evidence is visible from orthophotos when compared to the official Cadastral map. The municipality of the village of Garmen did not answer our questions on how this is possible.

Gamishev resigned as lawmaker after Bivol revealed that in 2016 he had transferred the company “Gamishev-NKB” with a debt to the treasury of BGN 200,000 to a professional “straw man”. He also had to surrender his post as the Head of the municipal structure of GERB in the town of Gotse Delchev, while the National Revenue Agency (NRA) and the Prosecutor’s Office launched probes against him. Nonetheless, two court instances sentenced the former MP to a suspended sentence of two years of imprisonment for causing death during a traffic accident, and the case is currently in the Supreme Court of Cassations (SCC).

A million for guesthouses

A reference in the database of guesthouses funded by the European Union (EU) Rural Development Program (RDP) shows that Gamishev’s father, wife and daughter-in-law are beneficiaries of EU funds for guesthouses. The family has received subsidies of BGN 1,024,312 for three projects under the RDP and has invested in the houses a total of BGN 1.6 million. These are:

Leshtenski Ray” in the village of Leshten, Municipality of Garmen, of the company “Niki Tour 99”. Niki is Nikolay, the father of Dimitar Gamishev, but the company is currently listed to the mother Katerina Kostadinova Gamisheva. The subsidy for “Leshtenski Ray” is BGN 344,159 with confirmed contract costs of BGN 491,660.

Leshtenki Perli” (Leshten Pearls), again in the village of Leshten, of the company “Gamiholiday”, which is listed to Gamishev’s daughter-in-law Angelina Kirilova Gamisheva. The subsidy is BGN 290,352, the costs – BGN 417,074.

Guesthouse in the village of Gaytaninovo, Hadzhidimovo municipality, of the company “Boyanka Gamishev” of Gamishev’s wife Boyanka. The subsidy is BGN 389,801, the costs – BGN 635,424.

All these guesthouses function as places of accommodation – family hotels that can be booked.

The information in the Property Register is that the three buildings had been financed with the modest amount of BGN 200,000, granted as a mortgage loan from Tokuda Bank to Dimitar Gamishev’s “unfortunate” company “Gamishev-NKB”. Gamishev, himself, and his wife Boyanka are joint debtors in the mortgage. The origin of another BGN 1.4 million, declared to the State Fund Agriculture (SFA) as costs for the construction of the sites remains unclear.

Construction on a municipal road

According to the official Cadastral map, the guesthouses “Leshtenski Ray” of the company “Niki Tour 99” had been built entirely on a plot owned by the same company, which is also urbanized and has a construction permit. However, the comparison with Google Earth satellite imagery shows that the cadastral map does not correspond to the actual situation.

In the Cadaster, the plots and their purpose had been marked with order РД-18-303/May 13, 2019. However, only two buildings had been entered and not with their real location. In addition to them, another house had been built in the hotel complex, plus two barbecues and a tavern, all of which are marked with their names and their location on the cadastral map but without a sketch.

The reason for this “discretion” is obviously the fact that Gamishev’s construction is stretched both on the municipal road – property #012117, which is public municipal property, and on another property north of the road with #012003. This property has the status of farming land and is also owned by “Niki Tour 99” but construction on it should not have been possible, according to the actual state of the cadastral information from May 2019. There is also a pool that is not marked in the Cadaster.

With Google Earth history, one can track when the buildings had been built – the beginning of the construction works is in the summer of 2012. A year later, the three houses had roofs. Between 2013 and 2016, the pool and two barbecues appeared, and a year later – the tavern.

Our attempts to obtain an explanation from the Municipality of Garmen for the construction on the municipal road were not successful by the time of the publication of this article.

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