Bulgarian Prosecutors announced Thursday that, together with the Commission for Confiscation of Illegal Assets (KONPI), it will probe the property status of the Deputy Head of the “Banking Supervision” unit of the Bulgarian Central Bank, Tsvetan Gunev, of the CEO of Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), Orlin Russev, of KTB’s Chief Treasurer, Margarita Petrova, Chief Accountant, Maria Dimova, and Deputy Chief Accountant Borislava Treneva, all indicted for siphoning 206 million levs from KTB.

KONPI, on its turn, reported that it would investigate 10 years back and the probe will last an entire year. Five KONPI inspectors (three economists and two lawyers) will engage in hard labor, and prosecutors and investigators will help them.

Intrigued by this long period of time and the scale of enlisted human resources, journalists from Bivol did a blitz check in the public registries only for Orlin Russev.

– On May 26, 2014, Orlin Russev acquired a penthouse of 193 square meters in the affluent Lozenets district in Sofia. The declared material interest is 223 473 levs. KTB funded with a loan only 75 000 levs of the transaction for which a mortgage has been arranged on the same date.

– Russev concluded an interesting property transaction for the small hotel “Mera spored Mera” (Measure for Measure) in Kovatchevitsa, near the southwestern town of Gotse Delchev. It has an area of 477 square meters. The initial purchase has been credited by KTB in 2008 with 100,000 euro. On April 4, 2014, Orlin Russev and his wife transferred the property to their own company ELENA BALKAN PROPERTIES LTD and the loan from KTB, which had since swelled to 591,166 levs, was assigned to RESERVE CAPITAL JSC, whose trusted bank was KTB.

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Orlin Russev further has done transactions on the Black Sea Coast – in 2002, he bought from the municipality of Tsarevo a plot of 985 square meters in Sinemorets and sold it in 2003. In 2010, he bought a studio of 59 square meters in the town of Sozopol. Another location the banker likes is the Elena Balkan (mountain), where from 2004 to 2007 he has purchased several properties.

Apart from the properties purchased in a personal capacity, Orlin Russev is co-owner in the company of KTB majority shareholder Tsvetan Vasilev – TM PROPERTIES LTD. 50% of this company is held by Vasilev’s BROMAK LTD and BY ELENA BALKAN-PROPERTIES LTD. This company has property acquisitions in Sofia, Burgas, Varna, Cave, Gotse Delchev, Smolyan, Pazardzhik, many of them financed by loans from CCB.

Our probe lasted just one man-hour, cost 10 levs and was terminated due to lack of more money in our account in the Property Registry. If our donors deign to put something in it, we will continue the check. However, there are other options – if you want to know more, you can wait for a year for the prosecution and their numerous helpers from KONPI to do their job… or you can drink a cold glass of water.

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