Until the sale of Olympic to the Spanish financial fraudster Diego Gonzales Alonso in May 2016, Bulgarian insurer Velin Harbazov was the manager of the Cypriot Olympic Insurance Company, while paint manufacturer Levent Chaushev was the manager of its owner, Clenmay Enterprises, an inquiry by Bivol in the Cypriot trade/commercial register revealed. The inquiry was funded with donations from our readers.

Available documents – annual reports, managers’ entries and share transfers, show that at the time of the opening of its representation in Bulgaria in mid-2009, the Olympic Insurance Company was managed by Despina Sophocles and was owned by Clenmay Enterprises, whose manager was Georgios Angeli (see the complete set of documents for Olympic Insurance and the parent company Clenmay Enterprises).

Prior to that date, the Olympic Insurance Company, which was set up in 1995, has been run by several Cypriots and has been owned by another company that we failed to verify due to a collapse in the Cypriot trade register.

In Bulgaria, Zhelio Hristosov was appointed first manager of Olympic’s branch. He is currently the director of the Health Insurance Fund DALLBOGG: Zhivot i Zdrave (Health and Life). After his departure from Olympic in 2011, he was succeeded by Krum Dimitrov Krumov. When Krumov left to join insurer BulIns, he was replaced by Venelin Georgiev Manev who is the managing director of the branch since 2012.

Manev also joined the management of the owned-by Olympic Insurance Bulgarian company FOCUS Properties with a capital of BGN 500,000. Petar Paunov Bonchev, who is a partner of the widow and the children of the murdered boss of the SIC criminal group Milcho “Baj Mile” Bonev became manager, together with Manev.

At that time, the Cypriot owner of Olympic (through Clenmay) was listed as Georgios Angeli. The company’s capital was EUR 8 million and it owns the entire capital of Olympic Insurance Company, which over the years increased to EUR 30 million.

The Clenmay reports for 2013 and 2014 show a Bulgarian name. Levent Chaushev signed the annual reports and was named as the manager of the company that is the ultimate owner of Olympic and its business in Bulgaria. On August 25, 2016, Chaushev bought Clenmay from Angeli.

Cypriot national Angeli sold Clenmay to Chaushev in August 2016

In Bulgaria, Chaushev has a paint manufacturing business in the city of Kardzhali. Bivol was able to reach him on the phone and he confirmed that he had bought Clenmay from Angeli in the capacity of a proxy because he wanted to develop some business with other partners. However, the company’s accounts had been blocked and eventually, his plans failed. He told us that Angeli had sold his participation in other companies before he sold the company to him.

Chaushev expressed sincere bewilderment that his name and his signature stand in the 2013 and 2014 reports of a company, which owns a total of EUR 30 million in capital and whose subsidiary dealt with a large insurance business in Bulgaria. However, he was not sure whether he would refer the falsification of his signature and the misuse of his personal data to the prosecution.

Chaushev’s words about the company ownership are accurate. Clenmay Enterprises ceased to be the owner of Olympic Insurance Group on January 26, 2016, when it sold its shares in the insurance company to Luxembourg’s Hispakol S.A. By August 2016, when Chaushev bought Clenmay, it had been completely separated from Olympic. However, there is no explanation why Chaushev’s name and signature can be found in the accounting reports from 2013 and 2014.

 

Bulgarian Velin Harbazov has signed the documents in the capacity of manager at the time of the sale of Olympic and of its acquisition by the Luxembourg-based Hispakol. He can also write in Greek, as is evident from the documents.

There is only one person with such a name and of working age in Bulgaria. This name also appears on the tabloid site Affair.bg as an author or an author’s pseudonym under several articles.

A check by Bivol established who was the person who had signed the Cypriot documents. This is Velin Sevdalinov Harbazov, who is a partner in the insurance company “Aksa Brokers” Ltd. Our attempt to reach him on the phone failed. According to a company official, he is not in Bulgaria and visits only once a year.

We asked Levent Chaushev whether he knew Velin Harbazov, but he insists that he has not heard of him.

Fraudulent bank buys Olympic

Two days after acquiring Olympic, Hispakol increased its capital from EUR 7,876,502 to EUR 30 million. An earlier investigation by Bivol found that the company NYSB of Spaniard Diego Gonzalez Alonso is behind Hispakol. It had been registered on the Cayman Islands and presented itself in Spain as a full-pledged bank, but in 2015 the local financial regulator issued a ban on its operations in the country. This ban is reflected in many public registers of European financial watchdogs, but not on the website of the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission (FSC).

Despite this ban discrediting the company, in May 2016, the NYSB Financial Group distributed press releases boasting the acquisition of the Cypriot insurer Olympic and the change of its management. They also allege that a representative of the Cypriot financial supervision had been present at the acquisition ceremony.

In Bulgaria, Olympic was branded as a NYSB Group affiliate, as shown on the insurer’s office signs. However, the FSC has had no interest in this obviously fraudulent advertising.

 

Velin Harbazov is also able to sign documents in Greek

Photo: Slava.bg

It is remarkable that Velin Harbazov remained manager of the company nearly four months after its sale, which means that he had enjoyed the trust of the new owners if they are really owners, and not just some new strawmen.

Failure of the Cypriot’s supervisor as well

The Olympic’s case is also a failure of Cypriot financial supervision, Cypriot media Cyprus Mail wrote in an article about the scandal, which, according to the author, is testing the relations between Bulgaria and Cyprus.

According to the article, “documents obtained by the Cyprus Mail, Olympic’s auditors, Baker Tilly, were unable to verify that the company was indeed in possession of a €150m government bond issued by the government of Brazil. The auditors were also unable to verify whether a subsidiary of Olympic was in possession of immovable property which according to its directors was worth €24.6m.

Olympic’s claim that it also possessed corporate bonds worth €22.8m, issued by its parent company Hispakol, could not be confirmed by its auditors, the document shows.

Furthermore, Baker Tilly was unable to find confirmation that Olympic had €11.9m in deposits with Black Eagle Securities Bank, a lender based on the East Indian Ocean island state of Comoros. Lastly, the auditors were unable to prove the existence of €1.9m in receivables.”

“The licence number of NYSB Bank in Comoros is L10960 and it coincidentally matches that of Black Eagle Securities Bank.

All this points to a large-scale fraudulent scheme, with a strong Bulgarian link, but it can be untangled only through a serious commitment by the Cypriot and Spanish law enforcement agencies.

So far, the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office has shown no enthusiasm to investigate the fraud committed by Olympic, despite the facts about relations with local insurer BulIns and with the structures of SIC, to which current Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov allegedly had also been connected in the past.

Bivol’s comment

The case “Olympic”, which left 200,000 clients in Bulgaria without insurance and triggered a legal issue between Bulgaria and Cyprus, also reveals the weaknesses of European regulations that allow the mafia to circumvent capital adequacy requirements by opening companies in countries known for their low regulatory and law enforcement standards. The fact that Spain has not allowed the fraudulent Comorian bank to operate on its territory, while it had flourished in Cyprus and Bulgaria is quite indicative.

Apart from this, the connection with SIC and the current Prime Minister of Bulgaria is a blatant demonstration of the seizure of the Bulgarian insurance sector by former thugs turned white-collar employees and businessman, but without changing their mindsets.

 

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