Bulgarian Interior Chief Begs Mobsters to Be 'Reasonable', Surrender

Crime | May 9, 2012, Wednesday // 15:52|  views

Bulgarian Interior Minister and Deputy PM Tsvetan Tsvetanov (left) with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Parliament on May 3, 2012. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov has been reduced to pleading Plamen Galev and Angel Hristov, aka The Galevi Brothers, two of the nation's most notorious mobsters to surrender.

The Galevi Brothers have gone missing just after on May 3, 2012, the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation confirmed their four- and five-year sentences for organized crime activities.

During a visit to the southwestern Bulgarian city of Kyustendil Wednesday, Bulgaria's Interior Minister called upon Plamen Galev and Angel Hristov to surrender, stating that "this will be the most reasonable thing to do", as cited by Focus.

Tsvetanov's call for the Galevi Brothers to surrender comes amidst rumors that the two mobsters from the southwestern town of Dupnitsa have fled to an African country.

The Interior Minister confirmed that the police have issued a nation-wide warrant for the arrest of the Galevi brothers, after police officers failed to discover them in their homes. At the same time, the Bulgarian police have no records of Galev and Hristov leaving the country.

Tsvetanov did state that there are numerous cases of sentenced persons gone missing by the time the highest court makes a ruling on their sentences.

At the same time, the Bulgarian Interior chief did express hopes of busting the two mafia bosses soon thanks to the Ministry's contacts with Interpol and the Schengen Information System.

"We have no way of detaining people before the court rules. We undertake the respective actions the moment we are told that they have to detained in order to serve their sentences," Tsvetanov explained.

"We have no such data but anything is possible and we can only make assumptions," the head cop replied when asked if the notorious mobsters might have already left the country.

Angel Hristov and Plamen Galev have fled to Africa just days before they were sentenced to jail and were imposed a ban to leave the country, local Struma dialy reported, citing friends of the two.

On May 3, 2012, Bulgaria's Supreme Court of Cassations upheld Galevi's jail sentences issued by a lower instance.

The magistrates, however, reduced Galev's sentence by two years and Hristov's by one on grounds they have clean criminal records and are known for charitable activities. Galev will thus serve 5 years behind bars while Hristov will be in jail for 4 years, both on charges of participating in an organized crime group dealing with racket and extortion. The ruling is final and cannot be appealed.

At the beginning of July 2011, the Sofia Appellate Court surprisingly reversed the trial against Galevi, sentencing them to a total of 12 years in jail - Plamen Galev to 7 years in prison, and Angel Hristov – to 5.

In addition, Galev was sentenced to a fine of BGN 10 000 and confiscation of 1/3 of his properties and assets, and Hristov – to a fine of BGN 7000, and confiscation of 1/4 of his properties and assets for the benefit of the state.

The two were appealing the sentence with the Supreme Court of Cassations, which is the last instance.

Hristov and Galev, known as the Galevi brothers (they don't have a family relation) are alleged to be two of Bulgaria's most notorious gangsters.

Back in November 2010, the Regional Court in the southwestern city of Kyustendil acquitted them of all charges – including heading an organized crime group, racketeering, and extortion on the grounds with they were being tried on rumors, not real evidence.

Four other men were also sentenced as members of the organized crime group led by Galevi.

In February 2011, the Chair of the Regional Court in the southwestern Bulgarian city of Kyustendil, Miroslav Nachev, published his motives for the acquittal of the notorious pair of alleged mafia bosses from the town of Dupnitsa listed on 108 pages.

The two mafia bosses are believed to hold the citizens of Dupnitsa on a leash, as their jobs and prosperity depend on the two burly former policemen with shady background and businesses.

The Galevi trial, launched in September 2009, came in the wake of a large-scale and flashy raid by what appeared to be the state army, which rummaged offices, auto-houses and apartments in the capital Sofia, Pernik and Dupnitsa.

In mid-June 2009, the Galevi brothers walked out of jail after both were allowed to run at the general elections and thus receiving immunity from prosecution. They failed to win seats in the 41st General Assembly, but were still free on bail.

Just days ago, the Regional Court in the western city of Kyustendil declared Plamen Galev guilty in a claim he had insulted local politicians during a regional TV program. Together with Hristov, they will pay BGN 4 000 each in damages to the claimants.

The magistrates decided that Galev had supported Hristov's on air statements where he called Milen Popov and Metodi Stoynev, municipal councilors from the far-right, nationalist Ataka party, idiots and clowns.

In November 2010, the Regional Court in Dupnitsa declared only Hristov guilty and sentenced him to pay a fine in the amount of BGN 4 500 along with Court expenses and BGN 2 000 to each of the claimants.

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Tags: search warrant, vanished, Dupnitsa, insult, fine, Sofia Appellate Court, Kyustendil, Kyustendil Regional Court, mafia, gangsters, gangster, organized crime, racket, racketeering, Plamen Galev, Angel Hristov, Galevi brothers, Supreme Court of Cassation, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Interior Minister, interior ministry, police, missing


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