The luxurious palace built by a company from the “circles” of Ahmed Dogan, Lifetime Honorary Chairman of the party largely representing Bulgarian Muslims – Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) – with bad loans from the collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) in park “Rosenets” is about to be opened. The public road to it is guarded and blocked by a barrier, and the only access by land to the State estate on the coast is cut, a check of Bivol showed. According to the documents that our media has obtained, the Burgas City Hall has given as a gift to the owner of the seraglio a municipal street and in this way it has blocked access to a State port and a public beach.
Where is the seraglio?
The place is the most strategic point in the Burgas Bay – Cape “Chukalyata”. This is a former military base of Border Troops and the only place that provides the best locational visibility of all traffic to and from the Bay, as well as of the territorial waters – from cape Emine to the border town of Resovo. This territory is also the nearest coastline to the island of St. Anastasia from where the island is supplied with electricity and water. The island is equipped with a lighthouse indicating the ships’ route and is of fundamental importance, because of its location, for the national security of Bulgaria.
Port “Rosenets”, which is a real “Russian enclave” in Bulgaria, is located in the vicinity of the seraglio. The territory was granted as a 35-year concession by the first government of current Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to Lukoil Bulgaria, run by Valentin Zlatev, the Prime Minister’s “partner in playing cards”. The enclave is surrounded by a fence and cameras similarly to Camp GULAG and strictly guarded by guards of the Russian company. Customs officers and border police are nowhere to be seen, which widely opens the door for all kinds of traffic through the oil port. The subject of this “Russian enclave” was raised by Bivol before the European Union a few years ago and was reported by leading global media such as Express and Le Monde. In exchange for this de facto renunciation of sovereignty, Bulgaria is not gaining anything. A check of Bivol established that the concession fees are not higher than the port dues before the concession, when the Rosenets terminal was run directly by the State.
By Zlatev for Zlatev…
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Bivol was the first one to examine in detail the newly built seraglio on Cape “Chukalyata”, back in November 2014, when speedy construction began at the site of the former water sports base.
The coastal territory was sold in 1999 by former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov to the Russian oil company Lukoil, together with the nearby depot for storage of oil during the privatization of the refinery for the “pocket change” amount of $ 101 million, of which only 80% were paid in cash. It is useful to add that at that time the leader of the then-ruling right-wing Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) in Burgas and head of the budget committee in the National Assembly was Yordan Tsonev – current member of the DPS party leadership and fellow party member of controversial mogul Delyan Peevski and of Ahmed Dogan.
Subsequently, the pension funds of Lukoil sold nearly 320 decares to the Russian company “Straight Line”, behind which stands the Cypriot offshore company TROXY TRADING. It is in turn owned by another offshore company from the British Virgin Islands – FCM GROUP HOLDING. This careful concealing of the property has an explanation and it is that behind “Straight Line” stands Valentin Zlatev, himself, according to information obtained by Bivol. The visible link is attorney Alexander Velichkov. He was head of the Legal Directorate of Lukoil Bulgaria and participates on the Boards of the Pension Insurance Company “Lukoil Guarantee Bulgaria” and Voluntary Pension Fund “Lukoil Guarantee Bulgaria” that sold the land. At the same, time Velichkov represents TROXY TRADING, which is housed in his office. So, the same people stand on both sides of the deal that is frankly simulated. The established conventional mortgage for TROXY TRADING as lender to “Straight Line” shows that 184 decares were estimated at 5.28 million levs or 28.7 levs per square meter. The actual prices in the pre-crisis year 2007 for this location were over 500 levs per square meter.
… And by Zlatev to Dogan
In March 2014, part of the terrain (nearly 9 decares) was resold by “Straight Lane” for 1.7 million levs to the registered at the beginning of 2011 company “Hermes Solar” LTD. Its majority owner is Hayrie Suleiman Hadzhiyska who owns 85% of the initial capital of the company. Hayrie was secretary of Dogan’s personal assistant, Ahmed Emin, and he was in charge of cash flows to and from the party. Five percent of the capital is held by Mustafa Shan. Emin died under mysterious circumstances on October 17, 2008 in Dogan’s seraglio in Sofia’s Boyna suburb. The case was concealed as suicide.
The capital of “Hermes” is only 100 levs and the website of the company says that it is “one of the leading European companies and the only manufacturer of high quality crystalline photovoltaic modules”. Immediately after the transfer of land, Hayrie and her partner Mustafa Shan decided to sell their shares in the company and leave the management. However, the address and contact details listed in the Trade Register give reasonable grounds to believe that the company is one of those in the notorious circle of the business interests of DPS. Now, with a new management company proceeded to
The construction of the palace – with bad loans from CCB, refinanced by First Investment Bank (FIB)
The company has two credits from CCB. The first is from March 2012 in the amount of nearly 12 million levs and has overdue interest for 100,000 levs; the second is in the amount of nearly 7 million levs from July 2013 and has 50,000 levs in overdue interest. They are categorized as “bad loans” without sufficient collateral.
However, both loans to “Hermes Solar” have found a warm welcome in FIB where Delyan Peevski transferred his loans shortly before the collapse of CCB. The loans to “Hermes Solar” were serviced by a direct 100% payment from FIB, notes financial journalist Miroslav Ivanov, around the same time when construction began. With this money, two years later, the seraglio was finished and is about to open.
The scale of the investment and the exclusive lavishness can be detected from photographs taken from the air and by sea as by land one cannot see the whole building. The road to it is being blocked for years with a barrier with the pretext that this is a construction site – a contribution of
Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikolov, who gave the “green light” for the seraglio venture
as early as at the time of the preparation of the detailed territorial plan when the property was still owned by Zlatev. Two of the plots of “Straight Line” – UPI-V and UPI-VII are the so-called “water sports facilities”. Without any obstructions, based on the already adopted general territorial plan of the city of Burgas, Dimitar Nikolov personally submitted the request for detailed territorial plan in the City Council, which, as is known, is dominated by the group of the Mayor’s ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party (28 out of 51 people).
The notorious with the liquidation of Nessebar’s sand dunes boss of the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters (RIEWs) in Burgas, Boycho Georgiev, decided that the detailed territorial plan did not need an environmental assessment. The traffic police also failed to object the changes in the organization of the traffic, possibly related to the construction of a parking lot in front of the future seraglio.
Only Regional Governor Grebenarov protested. From his letter to the Mayor we understand that the street leading to the State properties has become the private property of the sponsor and access to the State port was blocked. Despite this protest, the detailed territorial plan was adopted by the City Council on March 28, 2013.
The express administrative services for the seraglio by the Municipality continued after “Hermes Solar” bought the property and announced its investment intention. The building permit was issued with the impossible speed of seven calendar days. The designer is the infamous from Bivol’s investigations architect Kalin Tiholov, known as one of the main culprits for the concrete covering of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast and an active participant in “Dunes Gate” and in the territorial plan of the Strandzha Nature Park. Tiholov was the first Minister of Investment Planning in the Socialist-endorsed government of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski. He was replaced at the post after the publication in Bivol, but by the “French welfare recipient” Ivan Danov, who was recommended by Tiholov. The architect – an activist of DPS is also one of the authors of the general territorial plan of Burgas, where the site is listed as “water sports facility”.
After the start of construction, the Mayor of Burgas remained with eyes wide shut for the violations that occurred there. Bivol repeatedly warned that construction on “Chukalyata” is being done in breach of the law. Tiholov’s draft, which we have seen, shows that the height is not 7.5 meters as required according to the Master Plan, but exceeds 20 meters. The huge tower, rising above the seraglio, is interpreted absolutely arbitrary as “architectural element” by the employees of Dimitar Nikolov. A huge concrete pad on which there are vast halls resembling hangars is seen near the seraglio, however, such facility is also lacking in the building permit.
Why is the Vice-Chairman of GERB and Borisov’s favorite Mayor firmly supporting and securing in all possible ways the neo-feudal arbitrary oligarchic project, financed with unsecured bank loans? Nikolov manifested over the years permanent amnesia about this facility and the detailed territorial plan that he personally submitted for approval in the City Council. The truth about the price paid by Nikolov for legitimizing and defending the actions of the DPS-owned company and the alleged direct involvement of Deliyan Peevski remains to be seen.
Probably for these and other merits, Dimitar Nikolov recently received an award, together with Ahmed Dogan, from the so-called “Library Institute” known for close ties with former agents and collaborators of the Communist secret services (State Security, DS). The award is cynically named after the revered Bulgarian 19-th century Prime Minister, Stefan Stambolov. The badge of honor was handed to by him by another Dimitar – Dimitar “The GESTSAPO”” Ivanov – known by this nickname over his past as DS chief.
The municipality blocks access to State port and beach
For now, the street has not been yet privatized as provided by the detailed territorial plan and is listed as municipal public property, a check of Bivol in the Cadaster showed. Therefore, the City Hall that has invented an excuse to put a barrier on the road and to legitimize it, albeit temporarily, will be taking care for some time of the peace of mind and the security of # WHO and the VIP guests of the seraglio. The City Hall reported that the barrier is consistent with the safety plan of the site and will be removed only after the construction is completed. It is not clear when this is scheduled to happen. According to the round-the-clock guard on duty, there are no intentions whatsoever to remove it.
Naturally, the owners of the palace have no desire to have random people walking around the coast and along the new yacht port.
Somehow, the port has become privately owned
a check of Bivol in the Cadaster’s site showed. The Burgas Regional Administration confirmed this fact, but could not explain how the State property ownership’s has changed. The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works did not respond to this question either and whether they are plans for a concession. This would be one way the State to gracefully give to #WHO the port to be used for his luxury yachts without getting involved in a scandal over its possible sale. The latter is quite possible because private state property allows for transactions with individuals. In Bulgaria ports can legally be private as well.
The beaches, however, are exclusive State property under the Constitution. Aerial photos and cadastral maps show that a small beach nestles as a Bulgarian enclave between two Russian territories:
On the left, there is the concessioned to Lukoil territory, surrounded by observation towers and cameras, on the right – the summer palace of Dogan, who except as master of circles of companies recently revealed himself as the main distributor of Russian “mines” in Bulgarian politics. His VIP guests have convenient access to the beach, although they might prefer the pool that is also part of the property. Nobody else, however, can sneak there because of the blocked road.
Water sports facility or luxury casino?
The facility, designated as “facility for water sports”, is about to be opened at any moment now. The style is markedly oriental and is well known from similar oligarchic mansions. Bivol’s team visited the site and spoke with people living in the nearby bungalows, who told us that they often see luxury black limousines with tinted windows. One of the men admitted that the seraglio would really be a luxurious gated casino that can be possibly accessed only with a special individual invitation by land or by water through the port. What it is clear, is that the access and the list of visitors will not be controlled in any way, either by Border Police or the Customs.
The fact that the port is de facto a State border of Bulgaria shall place the residence and the activity in it outside the scope of State laws. However, this is not a precedent for our country, given the inaccessibility of the adjacent storage depots of Lukoil that are guarded by private guards, much exceeding the security at the State border, and representing a “State within the State”.
The guard at the barrier naturally did not allow the journalists to visit the State port and the beach. He openly stated that such access is impossible and it will not be possible even after the completion of formal construction activities. To the question #WHO owns the pompous residence, the guard chuckled and said he had forgotten.
The law is the #WHO
In previous publications on the subject of the seraglio, Bivol raised the issue of the size of the palace, which protrudes well above the elevation determined in accordance with the territorial plans. The State Construction Control, however, did not see anything wrong. The tower, which drastically exceeds the maximum of 7.5 meters, is described as an “architectural element”, although even to the naked eye, this is a fully habitable area. The new palace has also hardly escaped the watchful eye of the Prime Minister standing on the deck of the frigate “Drazki” (Daring), armed with binoculars -there is no way, since the seraglio is built on a strategic for our defense by sea point that visually covers the entire Burgas Bay. However, the opposite is also true – the seraglio should be clearly visible from afar, so that everyone knows precisely who the sultan of the territory of lawlessness is. Although, with its size and scandalous presence, it may be a too convenient target for a missile attack by jihadists.
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