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The leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and of the Party of the European Socialists (PES) Sergei Stanishev is seen greeting Tsvetan Gunev for his election by the Parliament for Deputy Governor of the Central Bank (Bulgarian National Bank, BNB). The photo is by “Monitor” daily from the period when the newspaper was loyal to lawmaker Deliyan Peevski and to banker Tsvetan Vasilev.

Tsvetan Gunev, Deputy Governor of BNB, in charge of Banks’ Supervision, is being investigated by the prosecution and is on leave “until the conclusion of the proceedings”.

This is the reply of the BNB press center to an inquiry of Bivol, asking whether Gounev has been legally charged, as an anonymous email, sent overnight to the editorial offices of a number of media, alleges. The press center of the Prosecutor’s Office has not yet sent a response to the same question.

An independent source confirmed before Bivol that there are not only pre-trial proceedings, but charges have been pressed against Gunev under Article 282 of the Penal Code for criminal abuse of power. Bail has not been requested for him yet.

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The grounds for the above stem from the investigation in default loans in Tsvetan Vasilev’s bank, Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), which, by law, Gounev had to oversee. According to unofficial information, the probe of BNB and the charges against Gunev were initiated over the claim of the Bulgarian “protest network” (organization of anti-government protesters in the country – editor’s note) against murky alleged media mogul and Member of the Parliament, Deliyan Peevski, banker Tsvetan Vasilev, and controversial new politician and former TV host, Nikolay Barekov, who, according to the claimants, are acting as organized criminal group.

Default loans should be guaranteed by a deposit in BNB in their full amount. “This is done to discipline these banks and to maintain a fund by which the government guarantees deposits of Bulgarian citizens up to 100 000 levs,” explains the author of the anonymous mail, who claims that he is working at BNB.

Tsvetan Gounev was elected with the votes of the ruling majority (BSP and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, the party largely representing the Turkish minority in Bulgaria – editor’s note) and the opposition centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) on December 6, 2013, two days before the election of Peevski (who is MP on the ticket of DPS – editor’s note) as Head of the National Security Agency (DANS). Then, GERB, which at the time had announced a boycott of the parliamentary sessions, voted as an exception for Gunev’s bid and Sergei Stanishev personally greeted him.

Bivol alerted about the problems in BNB back in 2011, when we published a classified cable by former US Ambassador Beyrle from 2006 about the “bad apples” in the Bulgarian banking system. According to the former head of Bulgarian financial intelligence, several Bulgarian banks were involved in “money laundering by Bulgarian and foreign criminals and connected lending”.

The publication was totally ignored by all media and even became the “taboo” topic of the year. A year later, four “bad apple “banks – First Investment Bank of Tzeko Minev, Corporate Commercial Bank of Tsvetan Vassilev, Investbank of Petya Slavova and Central Cooperative Bank of the alleged powerful organized crime group TIM – filed a complaint against Bivol in BNB and asked that our media is fined under the Credit Institutions Act.

(Expect further details)

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