Bulgarian Police Start Investigation against Roma Clan, Village Rioters

Crime | September 24, 2011, Saturday // 17:44|  views

One of the vandalized houses of Tsar Kiro in Katunitsa. Photo by Podtepeto.com

Bulgarian police from Plovdiv have vowed to investigate the family of Roma leader Kiril Rashkov and rioters who vanalized their property in the village of Katunitsa, after ethnic violence broke out.

According to Plovdiv police head Todor Chonov, there are 20 ongoing investigations against the Rashkov family and all of them will be updated and pressed forward.

Police have also started investigations against the persons who set to fire the Rashkov mansion, and three of the family cars in riots Friday and Saturday.

Unrest broke out after what ethnic Bulgarians say is the intentional running over and killing of a Bulgarian youth by a van driven by Roma.

Speaking Saturday, Chonov said that it is yet to be determined whether the act was intentional or just a tragic road accident.

The Plovdiv police head further commented that tension between Bulgarians and Roma families in Katunitsa have been simmering for long, and are regularly flaring up.

According to him, there has been a property dispute between the Rashkov family and the family of the killed youth, with both parties having previously lodged complaints with the police.

Chonov assured that Bulgarian police does not care about the ethnicity of Bulgarian citizens and vowed to protect all involved, as well as to bring to justice crime perpetrators.

Kiril Rashkov, aka Tsar Kiro, has a notorious past in Bulgaria's criminal world even before the transition to democracy in 1989.

Of late, he has gained fresh notoriety for being involved in several cases of production of bootleg alcohol.

Villagers in Katunitsa have complained of having for years lived "like serfs" under the arbitrary self-rule of the Rashkov clan.

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Tags: Roma, Plovdiv, Katunitsa, violence, police, injured, Roma, Todor Chonov, alcohol, Kiril Rashkov, Tsar Kiro

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