Bulgarian Drug Lord Sentenced to 7.5 Years behind Bars
Evelin Banev, aka Brando was arrested in Bulgaria on May 16 2012 on suspicions of cocaine trafficking and money laundering both in Bulgaria and Switzerland. Photo by BGNES
The Sofia City Court sentenced notorious Bulgarian drug lord Evelin Banev aka Brendo to 7.5 years in prison on Friday.
Prosecutors had demanded a 12 year-sentence for Brendo, who was charged with heading an organized crime gang and money laundering.
His accomplices, Monika Dobrinova, Desislava Dishlieva and Simo Karaychev, received a 3-year suspended sentence with a five-year probation period.
Banev and the others are charged with launding over EUR 2 M using a personal account belonging to Konstantin Dishliev, owner of a firm called Private Finance Union, who was killed in 2005.
Dobrinova is Brendo's ex wife, while Dishlieva is Dishliev's widow. The prosecution believes they were part of an international drug money laundering ring.
Brendo has been in custody on charges of leading organized crime groups, and laundering money from drug trafficking and drug dealing; he is known as Bulgaria's "cocaine king".
Evelin Banev was recently extradited to Italy on organized crime and cocaine trafficking charges under a European Arrest Warrant, and the Italian authorities committed to flying him back to Bulgaria every time there is a court hearing.
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