Bulgaria's 'Cocaine King' Back behind Bars
Sofia court of appeals changed Tuesday the house arrest of suspected drug lord Evelin Banev aka Brendo back to permanent detention.
The ruling came just a month after Sofia City Court decided that Brendo is kept in house arrest, saying there is a little risk for the defendant to hide.
The magistrates from Sofia Appellate Court reserved the ruling of the first instance court, saying that the risk for the defendant to hide has not decreased and the allegations against him are too heavy.
At the beginning of July, an Italian court sentenced Banev on first instance to twenty years in jail wrapping up the trial against the so-called "Cocaine Kings".
Banev is being held in prison in Milan, Italy, where he was extradited after his arrest in Bulgaria last spring in a special police operation codenamed "Cocaine Kings," and is coming to Bulgaria only for the court sessions of the local trial against him.
Banev has firmly refused to travel to Bulgaria despite the opportunity to see his 10-year-old daughter Lara after she was released by her abductors.
At the beginning of March, Lara was abducted by masked gunmen in the affluent Sofia suburb of Boyana. A 36-year-old bodyguard was shot twice in the back.
According to various reports, the abduction was a warning for him to keep silent in the Milan Court
In Bulgaria, Banev is tried for money laundering in the amount of BGN 21 M.
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