US Withdrawing Request For Zhelyaz Andreev Extradition
The US is withdrawing its request for Zhelyaz Andreev’s extradition, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said at a briefing in the Council of Ministers, reported bTV.
“To date, the US is officially withdrawing the request for Andreev’s extradition, as maintaining that request would be pointless for the reasons set out in a letter from August 28, 2018 from the Ministry of Justice and the General Prosecutor’s Office to the US Department of Justice. I think an unpleasant event for everyone has been prevented,” said Borissov. Zhelyaz Andreev thanked the government and said he is the happiest person in Bulgaria today.
Novinite.com recalls that Twenty-nine-year-old Zhelyaz Andreev was detained in April, 2018 by the police in his hometown of Dobrich at the request of the Miami Prosecutor's Office.
Andreev's arrest is in connection with an investigation by the authorities in Florida against 11 people on charges of violating the embargo on trade with Syria. Five of them - Zhelyaz Andreev, Mihaela Nenova, Lyubka Hristova, Iskren Georgiev and Ivan Sergiev are Bulgarians.
All Bulgarians have worked at a call center in Sofia, where they sold parts for Syrian aircraft airplanes that the US authorities claim to be related to terrorist activity. The case became known in March 2017 when the Miami Prosecutor's Office detained the Ali and Arash Kabi brothers and their sister Marjan.
According to the investigation, Arash Kabi, who has two passports, Iranian and French, has ruled AW Tronics, a Miami-registered company for electronics, aviation and oil production.
At the end of 2010, they founded "Arrotronix" in Sofia, which was later renamed to AB Tronix, which the investigators call a "Sofia office" of a Florida company.
In the spring of 2013, the US authorities blocked Syrian Air's assets and banned trading. According to the US, with the help of the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group, the Syrian air carrier delivers weapons to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard of Iran in Syria.
According to investigators from September 2013 to March 2014, the defendants violated the embargo by supplying spare parts for US airplanes to Syrian Air. For this purpose, the goods were shipped from the USA to Sofia and Dubai, and then re-exported to Syria.
On March 5, 2014, one of the consignments was suspended by the US customs authorities, who intercepts an e-mail exchange between the owners of AB Tronix and the managers of the Sofia office of the company. Marjan Kabi says that "nothing will be delivered to clients in the Middle East from the US office, we have to send to Bulgaria and then to customers from countries like Israel, Iraq, UAE, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Yemen, Kuwait, etc. Our shipments have been stopped by customs and border control, and we have other cases with the same customer. " This is a total of seven deliveries for Airbus and French ATR aircraft.
According to investigators at the end of 2014, Arash Kabi and his sister, as well as Mihaela Nenova, the manager of the Sofia office, together with another manager, Ivan Sergiev, commit another crime, by filling out false declarations, they are able to supply to China air equipment used for military aircraft, although the US has imposed a ban on exports to this destination of such a part.
In December 2017, the brothers Kabi and their sister were found guilty and sentenced to 2 years for the Kabi brothers and 13 months for their sister. The arrest of Zhelyaz Andreev in fact confirms that the investigation against the remaining eight people continues.
In 2017, Zhelyaz Andreev, of five Bulgarians, was the only regular employee of the call center, told Capital that the Syrian airline had been developed as a client before joining the company, and specified that because of his position in the company he did not have the opportunity to either select his clients or check them.
He started contacting them at the very beginning of his work at the firm while he was on trial period at the firm. According to Andreev this is also confirmed by the fact that he is not among the addressees of the e-mail sent by Kabi to the managers in the Bulgarian office. He states that parts to countries in the Middle East should not be sent by the US office because they are kept by the customs but must go through the office in Sofia. "We worked under constant stress to reach targets, especially during the trial period - we were just supposed to make calls and send emails to get as many orders as possible," he says in 2017, stating that has not received any bonuses from these deals.
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