Sofia Latest Murder Victim - Mastermind of 'Loan Sharks' Gang

Crime | April 18, 2012, Wednesday // 17:35
Bulgaria: Sofia Latest Murder Victim - Mastermind of 'Loan Sharks' Gang Bulgaria’s capital Sofia has witnessed four gangland murders this month amid assurances by the interior ministry that there is no escalation of violence. File photo

The pawnbroker, who was found shot dead in his Sofia home, was the mastermind of a criminal group dealing with illegal banking services and blackmailing clients, according to unconfirmed information.

Dragomir Bitsov, 40, though did not have a criminal record.

Bitsov was killed with two shots in the head during the Easter holidays in one of the luxurious houses that he owned in the district of Gorublyane. His dead body was found by a friend of his on April 14.

There were no signs of violence at the crime scene, but the autopsy showed the man died of two gun shots.

A check in the public registry shows that the murdered man is sole owner of the company "Yves-Trade", which offers gold-secured loans and operated with a number of pawnshops.

Bitsov is believed to be one of the men behind an organized criminal group, which was busted during a special operation at the end of May 2010, code-named "The Money Lenders", in the capital Sofia and the small northwestern town of Berkovitsa.

Ten suspects were detained. They had no permit for the banking services they offered and blackmailed their clients.

That was the third money-lenders gang that local police cracked down on that month.

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