Companies related to Bulgartabac and lawmaker (and former head of Bulgaria’s National Security Agency), Delyan Peevski, are doing business with Bulgarian cheese in Dubai, showed an investigation of Bivol. The production of “Lacrima” is sold in dozens of supermarkets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while the Dubai importer is represented by an India national who is also a majority owner of “Bulgartabac”.
The manufacturer of products with the brand “Lacrima” is “Lodis Invest”, owned by Sylvia Boteva. However, according to investigations of Capital daily, the company is controlled by Delyan Peevski. The acquisition of “Lodis” and the dairy “Grandpa Liben” was financed with a loan from the Bulgarian Bank for Development, which generously credited another emblematic company associated with Peevski – “Vodstroy-98”. Again, according to Capital, namely Boteva represented “Vodstroy 98” in tenders for large public works contracts.
Currently, the products of “Lodis” can be found in a supermarket chain in the UAE, while the official importer of the brand is the Dubai company Best Dairy General Trading LLC, as evidenced by the pictures of labels on the cheese “Made in Pazardzik”.
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A curious fact is that the same supermarket chain also sells pork to non-Muslims, however, it is not the “pork” that indicates the connection with Delian Peevski. It is the importer of the products – Best Dairy General Trading LLC. A check of Bivol in Dubai corporate records showed that the manager of the company is Rahul Datatraya Nimkar from India. The same person represents the Dubai-based company TGI Middle East. Recently Rahul Nimkar made an unsuccessful attempt to be listed as manager of Bulgartabac Holding.
TGI Middle East is the company behind the Liechtenstein foundations Stiga Anstalt and Woolford Invest, which are now majority owners of the Austrian BT Invest, which holds 80% of the shares of “Bulgartabac Holding”. A previous investigation of Bivol showed that TGI Middle East has acquired the shares by buying the debt of Livero Establishment to a company of Tsvetan Vasilev (majority shareholder of the collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank, CCB) – EFV International Financial Ventures – for 49 million euro. Ventsislav Cholakov, who is at the same time manager of BT Invest and “Bulgartabac Holding”, has also signed as manager of TGI Middle East. Cholakov is known as one of the most trusted people of Peevski.
The origin of this 49 million euro is unclear. There is evidence that this is money from cigarette smuggling in the Middle East, conducted jointly with smuggler Salam Quader (Quadir) Faraj, who has long been in the crosshairs of the Turkish special services. An investigation of Bivol showed that Salam is co-owner of the company Andalus Al Sharq, which is the largest buyer of Bulgartabac cigarettes, exported mainly through the Bulgarian port of Varna.
In early 2015, again Bivol revealed that Livero Establishment has transferred its shares in the ownership of BT Invest to another Liechtenstein company – Stiga Anstalt. Bivol received a reply to a request under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) from the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) from which it became clear that the Commission has received information that the same owner, i.e. TGI, is behind Stiga Anstalt. However, the Commission once again refused to reveal the individual who is the owner of the Dubai firm. In an earlier decision, the CPC announced that this individual was “not engaged in trade” and therefore did not have to be disclosed.
All on the same IT branch
A check of Bivol in the internet domains of several companies associated with Delian Peevski showed that they all use the same provider of DNS-services for their domains – “BG Business Solutions“.
Until recently, the sole shareholder of the capital of “BG Business Solutions” was “Doreko Limited“, owner of the publishing facility “Rodina 1” (Homeland 1) whose manager was Peevski’s mother Irena Krasteva. “Doreko” aslo bought out Peevski’s shares in the Plovdiv factory “Yuri Gagarin”. However, since April 4 this year, the company has a new owner – BG Business Solutions PTE, which is 100% owned by TGI Middle East.
The IT firm manages the domains and the email of “Bulgartabac Holding“, “Lafka” and “Doreko Commerce“, along with those of “Lacrima” and, of course, the Dubai-based TGI Middle East, which apparently is concentrating the ever increasing share of the hidden and questionable property of MP Peevski, who, otherwise, according to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, had left Bulgaria.
It should be noted that the expansion of the business of “Lacrima” is not confined to the Middle East. Late last year the manufacturer from the city of Pazardzhik received official government support for developing business in China. This was announced by the Bulgarian Investment Agency during the visit of Prime Minister Borisov there in November 2015. According to the announcement, reported by a number of media, the Prime Minister had to personally bless the signing of a contract between “Lacrima” and the Chinese conglomerate Heilongjiang Wondersun Dairy Co. for the construction of a yogurt factory.
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