GDBOP: Jailed in Brazil Champ Carried Cocaine to Bulgaria

Crime | December 29, 2011, Thursday // 12:52|  views

Bulgarian weightlifter and Olympic champion, Galabin Boevski, was arrested in Ocotber for cocaine posession in Brazil. Photo by BGNES

The cocaine which was carried by Galabin Boevski, who was detained at the end of October in Brazil, was intended to be distributed in Bulgaria.

The surprising revelation was made Thursday by the Director of Bulgaria's Main Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime, GDBOP, Stanimir Florov, speaking in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR.

Galabin Boevski, 36, a Bulgarian Olympic weightlifting champion, was arrested on October 24th for possession of 9 kg of cocaine at the Guarulhos Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The drug was found hidden in special secret compartments inside his suitcase.

He was first sent to a temporary prison facility and a week later – to a special jail for foreigners.

According to operational information of the Interior Ministry, Boevski was supposed to be paid between EUR 250 000 and 300 000 for the delivery and was checked by airport security over the fact all Bulgarians are listed in the column "risk passengers" in Brazil, said Florov.

The GDBOP Head explained that the authorities are working on finding out what exactly happened and that Boevski had not been followed by Bulgarian police. He added that the weighlifter was hoping to solve his financial problems by agreeing to take 9 kilos of cocaine to Bulgaria in exchange for cash.

Boevski's Bulgarian lawyer, Ivaylo Dermendzhiev, told BNR he was stunned by Florov's statements and that none of this information had been included in the case in Brazil. He further challenged the authenticity of GDBOP's claims by asking why if there was such information, the authorities failed to try his client in the country.

Meanwhile, Boevski's wife, Krasimira, said in a TV interview Thursday that she firmly believed her husband was innocent.

Boevska returned from Brazil Wednesday night after a three-week visit there. She informed both her and Boevski were treated well by Brazilian authorities and were given the opportunity to meet in private.

On December 20, a Brazilian judge ruled to keep the former champion in jail and rejected the defense request to let his client spend Christmas under house arrest.

If found guilty no matter whether in Bulgaria or Brazil, Boevski could face up to 15 years in prison. He has claimed innocence since the day of his arrest.

The 36-year-old Boevski won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 152-pound category. He was banned for eight years by the International Weightlifting Federation for doping in 2004. He owns a chain of modern fitness facilities in the capital Sofia and has a number of other businesses.

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