Beach Property Scam Tarnishes Image of Top Bulgarian Mayor
Three municipal employees in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Kavarna have been arrested for abuse of power.
Two have been released and the third remains behind bars, pending further investigation.
The three are the Chief Architect of Kavarna, Yuliyan Iliev, the Director of the Municipal Properties Company, Desislav Kostov, and the employee of the Registry Agency, Deyan Dechkov.
The arrests came after the authorities discovered the group took part in a large number of property scams related to the acquisition of attractive waterfront municipal properties for prices below the market ones. The three benefited greatly from the scams along with family members and relatives.
Police seized documentation, computer equipment and EUR 235 000 from Kostov. Iliev and Delev have been indicted with abuse of power and released under own recognizance, while Kostov remains behind bars.
The Mayor of Kavarna, Tsonko Tsonev, had first denied and later admitted the information. Tsonev is considered one of the most successful Bulgarian mayors. Turning Kavarna into the "Rock Capital of the Balkans" is just one of these successes attributed to him.
He was elected for the first time in 2003 as an independent, endorsed by the party of former King and Prime Minister, Simeon Saxe-Coburg – National Movement for Stability and Prosperity, NMSP. In 2007, he was reelected with the backing of the now-ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party. His nomination to run on October 23 for a third term in office was recently announced in person by Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.
Several Bulgarian media reported, citing unnamed sources that GERB are considering withdrawing their support for Tsonev, but currently there isn't any official information on the matter.
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