State Referred Criminal Land Deal in Sinemorets to the Prosecution

The Burgas Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters (RIEW) thought of the above ten years after the scam, but before the expiry of the limitation period. The Environmental Inspectorate is hiding the text of the signal. An expert has been threatened over the phone.

A new infamous case popped up around the illegal construction along the Black Sea coast in Sinemorets. It was stopped by RIEW, over which an expert from the Environmental Inspectorate received anonymous telephone threats.

It turns out that in 2005 the former owner Nedelcho Ginin bought land in Park Strandzha from the Tsarevo municipality, which had no legal right to sell it.

The ban has been instituted since 2002 in the Law on Protected Areas, where Article 10 stipulates that ownership of the State and municipalities on forests, land and water areas included in protected territories is public. To make a deal with a private individual, the municipality must first turn the public municipal property into private municipal property. However, a document for this change of ownership does not exist, according to RIEW. In 2005, someone has committed a crime, selling public land in the park. At that time, the municipality was ruled by the “red” (from the Bulgarian Socialist Party – editor’s note) Mayor, Petko Arnaudov.
gigin-dogovor-2005 The entry in the Property Registry shows that Nedelcho Ginin paid 170,007 levs for this terrain. Only a year prior to that, he acquired as a priority disadvantaged person a neighboring property for 2 levs per square meter. An apartment complex – “Veleka Resort” – was built there later. Construction, started now by the company “Cork and Fork”, is actually an extension of the complex.

For this to happen, in 2012 Nedelcho Gini purchased from the municipality another 24 square meters of land from the same terrain and sold it to the company of his daughter “Cork and Fork”, which stated an “investment intent” before RIEW Burgas and requested an agreement on it. RIEW, however, established that the change of ownership from public municipal to private municipal has not been documented and notified “Cork and Fork” that, according to it, this deal is void. The company filed a lawsuit in the Administrative Court in Burgas against the silent refusal of RIEW to deliver an environment assessment opinion and won. RIEW appealed in the Supreme Administrative Court, but “Cork and Fork” withdrew from the case and began building without proper documents. So far there is still no opinion of RIEW on the compatibility of the project, making it illegal to build.
After the current scandal flared, RIEW thought to refer to the prosecution the criminal deal with municipal land that occurred on November 24, 2005, almost 10 years ago. Fortunately, the 10-year limitation for the alleged offense has not expired.

The signal, with reference number 3077 on the dock of Burgas’ Regional Prosecutor’s Office, has been submitted on April 20, the Head of the Regional Office, Tanya Manolova, confirmed for Bivol. It remains unclear why this signal is logged now, after the outburst of scandal, and not when it was established that the documents for zoning the land as private municipal were missing.

It is also inexplicable why RIEW’s legal counsel refused to provide the text of the signal itself. It exposes a criminal case, which probably has been repeatedly reproduced. According to a former municipal councilor in Tsarevo, speaking off-the-record, the sale of publicly owned land by former Mayor Petko Arnaudov has been regular practice.

Bivol will request the text of the signal from RIEW under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) and will ask from the Municipality of Tsarevo the full documentation on ownership of this land and on the business deal with it, as well as information on all lands located within the Park Strandzha that the municipality has sold to private individuals from 2002 till today.

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