Bulgaria Interior Minister: 'Octopus' Is Not Personal Vendetta

Crime | February 10, 2010, Wednesday // 20:08|  views

Former Interior Secretary, and member of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Tsviatko Tsvetkov, says the “Octopus” police operation can backfire at GERB and PM Borisov. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, firmly denies media reports and claims of the opposition that the special police operation, codenamed “Octopus” is a personal vendetta.

Former Interior Secretary, and member of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Tsviatko Tsvetkov, was one of those who voiced suspicions Wednesday that “Octopus” might prove too dangerous for Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov. Borisov is known for having very complex relations with the alleged ring-leader of the criminal group and ex top secret services agent, Aleksei Petrov, Tsvetkov says.

(Petrov is among the 13 individuals arrested overnight during the police action.)

Tsvetkov further pointed out that the desire of the Interior Minister to succeed is threatening the cabinet of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party and personally Borisov and can easily backfire at them.

The former high ranking police employee stressed that the investigation needs to turn words into proof, something GERB so far has failed to deliver.

On several occasions Wednesday, Tsvetanov declined to confirm that Aleksei Petrov is among those detained overnight, but in the evening told the TV channel bTV that Petrov faces charges as organized crime ring-leader.

“Petrov aka The Tractor is also connected with “The Impudent” kidnap gang and is the highest level that the authorities have been able to break in so far,” the Interior Minister stated.

When asked if measures are pending against the insurance company “Lev Ins,” connected to Petrov, the Minister replied: “Everything that needs to be done will be done.”

Tsvetanov rejected again the reports that “Octopus” is a political action with the words: “Everyone is entitled to an opinion. The Interior follows the law.”

According to him, the “Octopus” is criminal group with hierarchy structure and a nucleus of 5 people. In the last 10 years the gang had been dealing with racket, extortion, prostitution, draining of money from the steel mill “Kremikovtzi,” draining of Value Added Tax, trading of influence, money laundering and other criminal activities.

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Tags: The Hamster, Anton Petrov, drug dealers, money laundering, draining, VAT fraud, prostitution, Kremikovtzi, special operation, police, interior ministry, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Octopus, organized crime, arrest, Aleksei Petrov, DANS, secret agent


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