Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor: No Crime Wave amidst Turmoil

Crime | March 7, 2013, Thursday // 13:33|  views

Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, has firmly denied a crime wave has risen in the country in the aftermath of the resignation of the government.

One day ago, speaking in a TV interview, outgoing Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, claimed crime, including serious crime such as abductions, has increased significantly amidst the political crisis in the country.

Tsvetanov gave as an example the Tuesday kidnapping of Lara Baneva, the 10-year-old daughter of alleged Bulgarian "cocaine king" Evelin Banev AKA Brendo.

Tsatsarov rejected the above could be labeled the start of a new wave of abductions, stressing what was most important in this case was the fact a child has been kidnapped in the most brutal manner, not whose child this was.

"The issue here is where this girl is and authorities must focus all their efforts in finding Lara Baneva and not on the concrete motive for her abduction," the Chief Prosecutor stressed.

He explained he was maintaining close contact with the Chief Secretary of the Interior, Kalin Georgiev on everything related to the case.

Surprisingly, Tsatsarov also announced his office is probing if the halting of the investigation in the notorious wiretap scandal known as "Misho The Beer," has been in adherence to the law.

In March 2011, the body of Mihail Mihov AKA Misho The Beer was found in the RIU Pravets Resort Hotel, in the town of Pravets, northeast of Sofia, which, according to unofficial information is owned by tycoon Valentin Zlatev, the CEO of Lukoil Bulgaria.

In mid-January 2010, Mihov became notoriously known through his involvement in the "Tapegate" scandal. At a press conference in January, the anti-government Galeria weekly released a tape of a conversation between Borisov and Tanov, alleging that Borisov provided a cover-up for Mihov.

The tapes reveal that now-outgoing Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov had called Customs Chief Vanio Tanov with an order to immediately pull out all customs agents from Mihov's factory over an agreement that he made with the businessman, and that the "Ledenika" boss personally complained to the Prime Minister that the customs inspected his plant in spite of their arrangements. The authenticity of the compromising tape involving Mihov's name was never unconditionally proven. Borisov and Tanov admitted of having phone conversations about Mihov, but insisted the recordings were tempered with to implicate them in something they never committed.

According to official autopsy results, Mihov has passed away from "fast heart failure over acute coronary deficiency." The autopsy report was sent to the Sofia Prosecutor's Office.

47-year-old Mihail Mikov was the owner of the three Bulgarian breweries, (hence his nickname "Misho Birata" - i.e. "Misho the Beer"). He had been the President of the Bulgarian Basketball Federation since 2008. He was also the Honorary Consul of Brazil in Varna.

The center-right government of Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov and his Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party resigned on February 20 amid protests against poverty and corruption.

Snap election is to be held May 12, just two months ahead of the regular date in July.

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Tags: wiretap, Vanio Tanov, Misho the Beer, Mihail Mihov, crime wave, abduction, kidnapping, Brendo, Evelin Banev, Lora Baneva, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Interior Minister, Interior Minister, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, Sotir Tsatsarov, Chief Prosecutor, GERB, Kalin Georgiev, Chief Secretary of the Interior, GERB, Tapegate


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