Probing facts and circumstances exposing Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, of connections with organized crime and participation in money laundering schemes

To the Special Parliamentary Committee on Organized Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering at the European Parliament

REPORT

Regarding: Probing facts and circumstances exposing Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, of connections with organized crime and participation in money laundering schemes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The reason for this report is the accumulation of reliable and matching within the meaning of the published facts, data and documentary evidence of the participation in the past of Bulgarian Prime Minister, Mr. Boyko Borisov in an organized criminal group for illegal drug trafficking, suspicious fuel deals and money laundering. It is not even necessary to emphasize that this information is of great public interest for both Bulgaria and the European Union.

Before turning to you, we alerted the Bulgaria Prosecutor’s Office. Unfortunately, they rejected our request to examine in essence the provided data. Their superficial and unprofessional conclusion (see Annex 1) generates suspicions of political pressure to deny justice on this case. For this reason, we ask the respectable Committee, after carefully examining our motives, to initiate a probe and a public hearing of witnesses, including the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Mr. Boyko Borisov. We list below the following data and evidence:

  1. On May 26, 2011, the site WikiLeaks published a secret American diplomatic cable to Washington by the American Ambassador in Sofia, John Beyrle, on September 5, 2006. In it, Beyrle writes the following:

The Dirt

——–

¶13. (S/NF) Accusations in years past have linked Borisov to oil-siphoning scandals, illegal deals involving LUKoil and major traffic in methamphetamines. Information from SIMO tends to substantiate these allegations. Borisov is alleged to have used his former position as head of Bulgarian law enforcement to arrange cover for criminal deals, and his common-law wife, Tsvetelina Borislavova, manages a large Bulgarian bank that has been accused of laundering money for organized criminal groups, as well as for Borisov’s own illegal transactions. Borisov is said to have close social and business ties to influential Mafia figures, including Mladen Mihalev (AKA “Madzho”), and is a former business partner of OC figure Roumen Nikolov (AKA “the Pasha”).

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/05/06SOFIA647.html

It is indicative that after the release of this information, which caused a public scandal, the Bulgarian Prime Minister did not specifically deny the allegations of his involvement in illegal activities. He said that he does not read “tabloids,” and then redirected all questions to the US Ambassador in Sofia James Warlick. Ambassador Warlick did not disprove the authenticity of the published document, but expressed full support of the US government for the cabinet “Borisov.”

On May 30 2012, the online edition TAZ.de of the Berlin-based Tageszeitung published information about the codename SIMO, which, according to the media’s own investigative report, means CIA. http://taz.de/Diplomaten-Depeschen-von-Wikileaks/%2194296/ The article, signed by John Goetz, an investigative journalist with a long-running career with the globally popular Spiegel Magazine, insists that a former CIA Department Chief has confirmed that SIMO is the secret codename of the US Central Intelligence Agency, and that diplomats are banned from using the name of the agency in diplomatic documents.

“A former Head of the CIA, confirmed for TAZ that SIMO and the CIA are the same thing. SIMO is an administrative term for the CIA, actually used only for internal purposes, and as such, it should not have been used in the cables.”

The same SIMO/CIA is mentioned in Ambassador John Beyrle’s cable as a source of information about Borisov’s involvement in “oil-siphoning scandals, illegal deals involving LUKoil and major traffic in methamphetamines.”

This news, published by Tageszeitung, confirms the seriousness of the data collected by the American Embassy and certainly cannot be dismissed as “tabloid” information or “rumors.”

Tageszeitung cites other cases where SIMO has been mentioned in American diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks. There are a total of 175 such mentions in 251 000 cables. It strikes that the latter are very rare and can be found only in reports with the highest classification level. It becomes clear that American diplomats cite SIMO/CIA only to confirm extremely sensitive information. It is also noteworthy that the only other politician listed by SIMO as being involved in drug trafficking is the former Senate President of Haiti, Mr. Joseph Lambert.

The information published by Tageszeitung was hushed by most mainstream media in Bulgaria – TV and radio channels and the press, which generates suspicions of political pressure to not make it public. On June 6 2012, at a hearing on media freedom in Bulgaria, organized by the ALDE group in the European Parliament, journalist Assen Yordanov presented a briefing on the publication and how it has been reported in Bulgarian media. (See Annex 2)

  1. At a session of the Shumen District Court on November 25 2011, a defendant, Mr. Vasil Kostov AKA Ketsa (the Sneaker) claimed in a testimony that a meeting has been held in 1999 between organized crime bosses, where they have decided to buy a senior police post for Mr. Boyko Borisov so that he could protect them. Mr. Vasil Kostov offers further details such as Borisov having at the time a “brigade,” meaning an organized crime group for racket and other illegal activities.
  2. At a session of the Belgrade District Court on April 7 2009 i.e. before the publication of the American diplomatic cable, Mr. Sreten Jocic nicknamed “Joca the Amsterdam,” indicted for murders and drug trafficking, stated that during his stay in Bulgaria, Mr. Boyko Borisov, in his capacity of Chief Secretary of the Interior, has provided cover-up for him.
  3. On November 30 2010, at a session of the same Court in Belgrade, protected witness Tomislav Marjanovic also stated that Boyko Borisov has been “Sreten Jocic’s and Jocic’s right hand Slobodan Djurovic’s man in Bulgaria.”
  4. Regarding information from Ambassador Beyrle’s cable about money laundering through the bank of Mr. Boyko Borisov’s girlfriend, Ms. Tsvetelina Borislavova, we note another secret diplomatic cable from Ambassador Beyrle from 2006 on the subject of Bulgarian banks http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/12/06SOFIA1652.html. The cable lists several banks dealing with money laundering and granting loans to “connected” individuals. EIBank, then owned by Ms. Tsvetelina Borislavova, is among them:

“Economic and Investment Bank (former Bulgarian-Russian Investment Bank).  Offshore companies once owned this bank. Tsvetelina Borislavova, common-law wife of Sofia mayor Boiko Borissov, and Svetoslav Bozhilov own it now, together with Icelandic investor Thor Bjorgolfsson through his company Novator Finance Bulgaria.  The concern with this bank is that it is practicing connected lending with lower quality companies that wouldn’t otherwise qualify.  There are also concerns about the origin of some of the assets Borissov allegedly passes through the bank.”

The source of the above information, listed as Dr. Vasil Kirov, at the time heading the Bulgarian Financial Intelligence Agency, is another important detail. Mr. Kirov is currently the Deputy Director of OLAF. This fact gives exceptional credibility to the released data.

Petition

We believe that the report of Ambassador Beyrle, referring to the globally-mighty Intelligence Service, incriminating Mr. Borisov over links to organized crime, trafficking of synthetic drugs and money laundering is a sufficient reason for the Committee to launch a probe in the matter.

However, we also note that the information, reported by Ambassador Beyrle and confirmed by SIMO, is further supported by witnesses with a known location, available to the justice system, who can be summoned by the Committee for a hearing.

Dear MEPs, members of the Committee,

The very fact that there is such shadow casted on the Prime Minister of EU Member State over the above listed suspicions, known publically and internationally, is scandalous and hurts the public image of the entire European Union. The case is fully within the authority and the competence of the Special Committee on organized crime.

We believe that the Committee’s probe will shed light on the mixing of interests of organized crime and senior officials and will send a political message to countries with the status of candidates for EU membership that not even the slightest suspicion of participation of public figures in organized crime, in corruption and in money laundering is going to be concealed.

For this reason we are asking the Committee to consider our report and to organize a public hearing with the following persons:

  • Mr. Julian Assange, on the authenticity of the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks
  • Mr. John Goetz , investigative journalist on the CIA source who has confirmed the meaning of the codename SIMO
  • Mr. Vasil Kirov, Deputy Chief of OLAF on the information that EIbank is involved in money laundering
  • Mr. Sreten Jocic, defendant in a criminal case in Serbia, on his testimony before the Belgrade District Court
  • Mr. Tomislav Marjanovic, protected witness in Serbia, on his testimony before the Belgrade District Court
  • Mr. Vasil Kostov, defendant in a criminal case in Bulgaria, on his testimony before the Shumen District Court
  • Mr. Rob Wainwright, Europol Director, on the existence of information about the Prime Minister’s criminal activities, received by partner services
  • Mr. Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria

We remain available for additional information and, as the authors of this report, we confirm our readiness to appear for a public hearing before the Committee.

Respectfully,

Atanas Tchobanov

Petar Penchev

Assen Yordanov

***

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