Bulgarian Prosecutor's Clears Interior Minister's In-laws of Tax Evasion

Domestic | September 2, 2011, Friday // 18:06|  views

Bulgaria's Prosecutor's Office has not found any evidence that the in-laws of Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov were involved in tax evasion, and refused to start a procedure against them.

The inspections into the properties of Interior Minister Tsvetanov and his in-laws came up after in February the controversial, anti-government Bulgarian weekly Galeria that there are irregularities in Tsvetanov's properties and trips abroad. The RZS party, which is believed to be linked with Galeria, subsequently leaked documents that Tsvetanov acquired six apartments in Sofia in the past few years.

Tsvetanov's family was cleared by the tax authorities but they found some discrepancies in the income and spending of his in-laws Stefanka and Vasil Georgiev. The inspection of their assets started in April and lasted several months.

On Friday, however, observing prosecutor Biser Kirilov announced, as cited by BTA, that the Prosecutor's Office found no irregularities, which is why it would not start a procedure against the parents of Tsvetanov's wife. Thus, since there is no institution that can appeal the decision, unless the Appellate Prosecutor's Office takes over to inspect the decision, it is considered final.

The information provided to the media states that between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2009, the total income of Tsvetanov's family was BGN 589 480, which includes money provided to them by Tsvetanov's father-in-law and mother-in-law, a bank loan, and interest revenue from a deposit. The family's total spending was BGN 459 822.

Tsvetanov's family has 17 accounts in six banks, 13 of which belong personally to the Interior Minister. Stefanov also confirmed information that Tsvetanov's in-laws have more than 14 bank accounts.

The inspection of Bulgaria's National Revenue Agency showed that Tsvetanov received a total of BGN 40 000 in fees. The three consulting contracts were "on questions related to the residency of foreigners in Bulgaria, the states of foreign families, and the level of criminal activity", "the systems for control and surveillance of an office building in Sofia, and information about the crime levels in the country", and "consulting a contractor on questions connected with security in Bulgaria with respect to investments."

In the five-year period, Tsvetanov traveled abroad 52 times and went on a vacation with his wife 9 times. He was unable to provide documents about 13 of his trips abroad. Tsvetanov has spent a total of BGN 16 317 on individual trips, and BGN 15 692 on family vacations.

The Tsvetanov family bought only two of their six apartments, the other four were inherited or provided from the parents of the minister and his wife.

The two apartments were purchased with a mortgage loan of EUR 59 000, family savings amounting to EUR 20 766, and contributions by Tsvetanov's in-laws amounting to EUR 48 366 and USD 3 223.

Back in February, the Galeria weekly presented information claiming that there is a difference of BGN 150 000 between the income and spending of Tsvetanov's in-laws. The paper editors said the information was given to them by employees of the National Revenue Agency, who were afraid that it might be covered up.

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Tags: Krasimir Stefanov, NRA, NAP, National Revenue Agency, tax, tax returns, in-laws, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Interior Minister, RZS, Yane Yanev, Galeria


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