Clan of Notorious Roma Boss Moves out of Bulgarian Village

Society | March 28, 2012, Wednesday // 12:05|  views

One of the several "castles" of Kiril Rashkov in Katunitsa, which was set on fire during the residents' unrest. Photo by BGNES

The family of Bulgaria's notorious Roma boss Kiril Rashkov AKA Tsar Kiro is moving out of the village of Katunitsa, according to local people.

In October 2011, the Regional Construction Control Directorate in the nearby city of Plovdiv ordered the demolishing of the clan's illegally erected buildings.

Different members of the family contested the order before the Administrative Court, but the order is final for four of the so-called castles.

The Bulgarian Monitor daily writes that 10 days ago local utilities have cut water and electric power supply for all of Rashkov's estates. The family is now emptying all premises, which had been confirmed by the Police Chief in the town of Asenovgrad.

In order to avoid setting foot in the village, the family has hired movers and informed the police in advance.

Monitor further reports that the clan is currently occupying a large, luxury building in Plovdiv.

Tsar Kiro, was sentenced in January to 3.5 years in jail for making death threats against two locals from his native Katunitsa.

Rashkov was found guilty by the court in the southern Bulgarian town of Asenovgrad of threatening to kill Veselin Hristov and Ivanka Petrova.

Hristov and Petrova claimed Rashkov threatened them before their home by gesturing to demonstrate his readiness to grab a knife from his belt.

The court verdict was based on the testimonies of 12 witnesses, and CCTV footage which has no sound but shows a man in a black jeep parked in front of the home of Hristova and Petrov gesturing angrily.

Rashkov, a notorious Roma barron, has been detained at the end of September 2011 when his associates ran over and killed a local ethnic Bulgarian boy in Katunitsa. 19-year-old Angel Petrov is believed to have been killed because of a conflict with Rashkov's Roma clan.

The murder threatened to detonate ethnic peace in Bulgaria as thousands, many of them nationalist demonstrators, marched for a week in October in Bulgarian cities to protest what they see as a "privileged position" of the Roma in Bulgaria, saying that the Bulgarian institutions are unable to cope with clan-based crime.

Many have alerted to the fact that the riches of Rashkov's clan have come from producing fake alcohol for decades without any crackdown by the authorities.

As residents of Roma quarters resorted to arming themselves, only the Bulgarian riot police and gendarmerie prevented ethnic-based clashes, and the demonstrations subsequently died down but the issues that spurred remain unresolved.

Locals from the Katunitsa village waiting to hear Rashkov's sentence in Asenovgrad commented that they are satisfied with the verdict but that it will not compensate for the fear and pain they have suffered, claiming that Rashkov and especially his grandsons have been terrorizing and intimidating the entire village.

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Tags: properties, estates, demolishing, Katunitsa, Roma, Roma Boss, Tsar Kiro, Kiril Rashkov, Angel Petrov, death threats, Asenovgrad, Plovdiv, ethnic tensions


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