Greece Jails for Life Sofia-based Hotel Owner over DrugsCrime | June 30, 2013, Sunday // 09:51| views
Vasil Ninov, owner of hotel "Rodina" in downtown Sofia, was one of the main shareholders in the Balkan Universal Bank, which went bankrupt at the end of the 90s. File photo
A Greek court has sentenced to life in prison the owner of Sofia hotel “Rodina”, a year after he was arrested for attempting to smuggle nearly 170 kg of cocaine.
Vasil Ninov was arrested in July last year alongside the manager of his hotel Konstantin Georgiev, a Spanish citizen and a Portuguese national at the Port of Thessaloniki.
Georgiev, who is Bulgaria’s former consul to Cyprus, was delivered a ten-year suspended sentence and released immediately.
The Spanish and Portuguese nationals will also be jailed for life, the Greek court ruled.
The shipment of cocaine was meant for the Greek market and had been imported from Latin America. Initial estimates of the shipments' value pointed to some EUR 15 M.
The arrests were made after a joint operation of Greek and Bulgarian police forces and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Vasil Ninov was one of the main shareholders in the Balkan Universal Bank, which went bankrupt at the end of the 90s.
The investigation of the bankruptcy of the Balkan Universal Bank revealed that it had deprived the state budget of tens of millions of leva.
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