The Governor of the Bulgarian Central Bank, (Bulgarian National Bank, BNB) is placed under the special protection of the National Security Services (NSO), Bivol learned. The reason for the emergency security measures is certainly the anonymous threat, sent as SMS. Upon receiving the message, Iskrov has alerted the leadership of the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor’s Office. The information has been urgently analyzed and it has been concluded that at the moment there is real threat to the health and the life of banker number one in the country. The newly formed Serious Crimes Unit at the Main Directorate Criminal Police, headed by Borislav Alexandrov, has started working on the case.
Iskrov is currently guarded by NSO 24/7 in two shifts. The usual practice of the services in cases of threat to a statesman of such rank is to use at least four guards in each shift. The home and the family of the guarded person are also under constant surveillance.
According to Bivol’s sources, the threat against Iskrov was made immediately after he declared that BNB is launching a bailout plan to rescue Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB).
The investigation in the case and the increased security measures for Iskrov are kept strictly confidential. So far, we do not know whether the person who contracted the sending of the threat has been located. We have no official confirmation of its exact wording, so we will refrain from publishing it. The information we have is that the SIM card, from which the message to the Governor of BNB was sent, has been purchased in a shopping mall in the capital Sofia. It has been registered to the name of a poor Roma woman as are dozens of other prepaid cards of different mobile operators. That card was used once, after which it was deactivated. It is therefore assumed that, most likely, it was immediately destroyed.
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On Saturday, Bivol attempted to get in touch with Iskrov, but his phone was turned off. The phones of Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, were turned off as well. The Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Svetlozar Lazarov, was reached while traveling to the location of a serious accident with a derailed train near the city of Stara Zagora. By stating this was not a good time for comments, Lazarov neither confirmed nor denied the information. He promised to our reporter to comment in the coming week.
Our team received confirmation of the alarming information on Iskrov’s safety from four independent, well-versed insider sources from different institutions working on the case.
It is unclear whether the threat has influenced in any way Iskrov’s actions regarding KTB’s bailout. It emerged Friday that there will be no “bailout” of the bank; its license is to be revoked, and the documentation for 3.5 billion levs in loans to connected parties is missing. Good assets will be transferred to KTB’s subsidiary Crédit Agricole Bulgaria, which will be nationalized, while the assets of “parties connected to Tsvetan Vasilev” will remain de facto in the liquidated KTB.
The open letter, sent by the owner of the bank, Tsvetan Vasilev, to Bulgarian media is symptomatic in this case. In it, Vasilev directly declares that what is happening with KTB is a scenario masterminded by a circle of people, who have been racketeering him and the bank for years. In the same letter, the banker asks the Governor of BNB, Iskrov, whether he is serving “the interests of a range of people interested in not paying off their obligations to the bank or those of people wanting to seize at heavily discounted prices the bulk of assets financed by KTB”.
Bivol is ready to publish the official statements of all interested parties in the case.
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