Notorious Drug Lord Evelin Banev 'Brendo' Turns Himself In After Years on the Run (UPDATED + VIDEO)

Crime | June 24, 2024, Monday // 09:28
Bulgaria: Notorious Drug Lord Evelin Banev 'Brendo' Turns Himself In After Years on the Run (UPDATED + VIDEO) @Flagman

Around 7:30 a.m. this morning, Evelin Banev, known as "Brendo", who had been internationally wanted, surrendered voluntarily. The police are set to hand him over to the Main Directorate "Execution of Punishments," according to information from BNT.

Evelin Banev has been sought since 2018 for drug trafficking, with convictions in both Bulgaria and Italy. In 2021, he was found in a house near Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. The Ukrainian police reported that he used foreign documents and the house was rented. A drug laboratory was also discovered there.

In October of that year, it was revealed that Brendo held Ukrainian citizenship, which allowed him to avoid serving his sentences, as the Ukrainian constitution prohibits the extradition of its citizens to other countries.

Over the years, Brendo's name has frequently appeared in news reports both in Bulgaria and internationally. In 2012, he was among 30 people arrested during the "Cocaine Kings" international operation. Known for his caution, Brendo has managed to evade the justice system for years. Investigations have revealed that he uses multiple identities.

Evelin Banev-Brendo, who was convicted in Bulgaria, voluntarily surrendered to Bulgarian authorities this morning. Video footage from Flagman clearly shows him arriving at Sofia Central Prison, accompanied by his lawyer who confirmed that Banev is turning himself in to serve his sentence.

Banev had disappeared shortly after being sentenced to six years in prison for money laundering in 2018. At that time, Bulgarian authorities issued an international arrest warrant for him after he was not found at his registered address for incarceration. Additionally, Romania had been seeking him for a 10-year sentence related to drug trafficking, while Italy awaited his extradition to serve a 20-year sentence in the "Cocaine Kings" scandal.

In Bulgaria, Banev was convicted for his involvement in an organized criminal group operating between October 17, 2002, and May 30, 2005. The group conducted financial transactions using funds known to have been acquired through drug trafficking across Bulgaria, Great Britain, the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, and Austria.

Update: The Ministry of the Interior is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Evelyn Banev-Brendo's return to the country. Atanas Ilkov, head of the national police, stated through the Ministry of the Interior's press center that they are actively working to determine how Brendo managed to enter Bulgaria. He emphasized that comprehensive analysis takes time and that conclusions will be drawn after thorough examination of all available data and ongoing search efforts over the past six years.

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Tags: Banev, Brendo, drugs, police

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