Prosecution Demands 12-year Sentence for Bulgaria's Top Drug Money Launderer
Bulgaria's Prosecutor's Office has requested a 12-year prison sentence for Evelin Banek, aka Brendo, known as one of Bulgaria's top money launderers and drug smugglers.
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".
According to the prosecutors, Banev and his accomplices – Monika Dobrinova, Desislava Dishlieva, and Simo Karaychev, each of whom can get 6 years in prison – have laundered narcotics and cigarette smuggling money.
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.
During Thursday's hearing at the Sofia City Court, three of the summoned witnesses failed to appear over illness and residence abroad.
Evelin Banev, aka Brendo, 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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