Infamous Bulgarian Architect Is Building the Scandalous Seraglio in Rosenets

Suspicions violations and cover-up by the State National Construction Control (SNCC) in Burgas
Екип на Биволъ

The signature of architect Kalin Tiholov as a proxy of the manager of the company “Hermes Solar” stands on papers for the large-scale construction that is currently popping up on the beach in Park Rosenets, an inquiry of Bivol showed. He has signed on behalf of Mustafa Shan a contract for construction supervision with the company “ZT Consult” Ltd.

Until recently, the company “Solar Hermes” LTD was majority owned by the Hayrie Hadzhiyska, the secretary of the late Ahmed Emin – 85%. The former manager, Mustafa Shan, had 5% of the shares.

As Bivol wrote in its investigation in the construction in Rosenets, “Hermes Solar” has 18 million levs in debt to the failed Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), and the debt has interest arrears. This does not preclude the company to pour money into the impressive construction, visible only from the sea.

The Architect of the Party Movement for Rights and Freedoms

Kalin Tiholov was leading the municipal councilors ballot of the party largely representing the Turkish minority in Bulgaria – Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) – in the local elections in Nessebar in 2007. His name gained national prominence as the author of the schemes “Dunes Gate” and after the Socialist-endorsed government of Prime Minister Plamen Orecharski appointed him as Minister of Investment Planning. The latter caused a sharp public reaction and architect Tiholov was Minister for just a few hours, after which he was replaced with the close to him Ivan Danov.

Tiholov’s name pops up in nearly all major scams and scandalous projects for construction on the southern Black Sea coast. He is the author of many Detailed Territorial Development Plans (PUPs) in Nessebar and has also done 25 real estate transactions in the area. Along with “Dunes Gate”, it became clear that Tiholov has filed applications for 18 decares of State forests near Nessebar, on which he wanted to build.

An investigation of Bivol proved that Tiholov and another notorious individual linked to DPS – lawmaker Yordan Tsonev – are the main beneficiaries from an extremely brazen scheme to appropriate hundreds of waterfront decares in Natural Park Strandza through false power of attorney. The parcels are owned by firms of Tiholov, and some are even his personal property, by Tsonev and members of their families. The scheme was unraveled by the prosecution, but the perpetrators – five Burgas lawyers – remained unpunished due to prescription.

Kalin Tiholov is the author of the Master Plan (OUP) of the Tsarevo municipality, providing for the construction on the entire coast and on all properties of Tsonev and Tiholov, acquired through the fraudulent scheme. Because of this Master Plan, which the municipality is staunchly defending, the European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Bulgaria.

Building Permit Issued in Just Seven Days

All construction documents for the “Seraglio” in Rosenets have been processed and approved in just seven days. “Hermes Solar” submitted the documents in the municipality on June 19, 2014, and the building permit was signed and granted on June 30.

Such efficiency is no exception in projects associated with Tiholov. As the scandal “Dunes Gate” showed, permits were approved and issued in literally days, while the normal procedure lasts months.

The prosecution probably has an answer to the question whether the problems in KTB, which is the major creditor of “Hermes Solar” with 18 million levs, are in any way linked with these dates. KTB was placed under special supervision on June 20, while in the days before the conservatorship, “important parts of the credit records of a loan portfolio in the amount of EUR 3.5 billion levs have been destroyed”, according to the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB – the central bank, editor’s note). “A significant part of this portfolio shows a very strong connection between debtors and the KTB majority shareholder Mr. Tsvetan Vasilev,” the BNB press release further notes.

The current construction is carried out at the site of the former sailing base and marina in Park Rosenets (Otmanli) and it officially started on July 22. Four days earlier, the secretary of Ahmed Emin parted with the ownership in the company. Snezhana Karova bought out a 90% stake – 85% from Hayrie Hadzhiyska and 5% from Mustafa Shan and became manager, replacing Mustafa Shan, who had signed all construction documents in person or through Tiholov.

The contractor for the construction is “Glavbolgarstroy”; the price is not known, but it can certainly be said that the construction pace is impressive.



Speedy, but Discreet Construction

A photo from Google Street View shows how the site looked before the start of construction works. However, currently there is no access to it. The road is blocked by a barrier and guarded by a security firm, a reporter of Bivol saw.

The closure of the road was approved by the Chief Architect of Burgas on grounds of an approved “Safety and Health Plan”, the municipality explained after a question of Bivol. The protocol from the groundbreaking of the construction site, however, says that “there are no works on the road”.


How High Can 11.67 Meters Be?

Construction papers show that the building project has a limit of the height of the building under the eaves (the bottom edges of the roof) of 7.35 meters and of the elevation of the roof at 11.67 meters. However, the naked eye can see that the building exceeds these parameters. A projection of a standard container, which is 2.6 meter-tall and is located in front of the building, is mounted on the photograph below. Seven containers fit from the ground floor to the highest point, making it nearly 18 meters tall, well above of the permitted elevation of 12 meters. Moreover, the perspective is not accounted for and that gives a bonus to the structure.

sarai-kota sarai-12m

Bivol asked questions to the State National Construction Control (SNCC) whether the mandatory subsequent control of construction permits has been executed and received an affirmative answer. However, there is reasonable doubt that the control has been carried out within the statutory period. After the interest shown by our media, it seems quite strange that the log book of activities is locked in the safety vault of the Director of the Regional SNCC in Burgas, Vanya Radeva. According to Bivol’s insider sources, this is a precedent. By ordering the necessary questioning of officials, the prosecution could investigate here whether the control has been carried out properly.


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