Bulgaria Ex-Civil Defense Head Paid Blackmailers with Legal Money

Crime | December 5, 2009, Saturday // 15:20|  views

The leader of Bulgaria’s Roma party “Euroroma", Tsvetelin Kanchev aka the Baron or the Don (r), and the uncle of folk singer Azis, Hristo Varbanov Papata (the Pope) - (l) will remain behind bars over extortion charges. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Sofia’s District Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, announced the money used by the former Head of Bulgaria’s Civil Defense Directorate, Nikolay Nikolov, to pay his blackmailers was obtained legally.

Kokinov spoke Saturday in an interview for Darik radio, saying the EUR 150 000 were from the business of one of Nikolov’s friends, and were properly listed in the firm’s books, from loans and from personal savings.

Just days ago the Prosecutor’s Office announced they will conduct a probe of the way Nikolov acquired the EUR 150 000 from the EUR 250 000 that the blackmailers asked him to pay. Nikolov, himself, explained then he had savings, his son and son-in-law are rich people, and he also asked wealthy friends for loans.

In the meantime, late Friday the Sofia Court ruled to keep under permanent detention some of the alleged perpetrators of the extortion – the leader of Bulgaria’s Roma party "Euroroma", Tsvetelin Kanchev aka the Baron or the Don, the oncle of folk singer Azis, Hristo Varbanov Papata (the Pope), and Dimo Stanchev.

Before being arrested Stanchev said Nikolov gave him public order contracts for renovations after non-existing disasters, but asked for 10% of the profits and another 10% for the then Minister of Emergency Situations and Disasters, Emel Etem.

Etem, who was a Minister from the quota of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) during the previous cabinet and whose Ministry was dismantled by the now ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, called Stanchev’s allegations an outrageous lie. She says she considers Nikola Nikolov a dignified Bulgarian General, and she hopes the truth will be known soon.

6 people were arrested last week, following a tip-off to the police by Nikolov that he was being blackmailed for EUR 250 000.


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Tags: blackmail, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Ministry of Interior, Sofia Prosecutor, Azis, Tsvetelin Kanchev, Euroroma, Nikolay Nikolov


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