Interpol-sought Bulgarian Drug Lord Faces Permanent Arrest

Crime | May 19, 2012, Saturday // 10:47
Interpol-sought Bulgarian Drug Lord Faces Permanent Arrest: Interpol-sought Bulgarian Drug Lord Faces Permanent Arrest Evelin Banev, aka Brando was arrested in Bulgaria on May 16 on suspicions of cocaine trafficking and money laundering both in Bulgaria and Switzerland. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

The Sofia City Court is going to rule Saturday on the prosecutor's request to keep permanently behind bars alleged top criminal Evelin Banev AKA Brando.

The Prosecutor has requested the measure on grounds he planned to secretly escape from Bulgaria to avoid money laundering charges and trial.

The Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, informed his office has very serious evidence for the above. According to the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, the investigation has a recording from a phone conversation where Brando could be heard telling his live-in girlfriend that he was planning to leave the country and hide abroad. People close to Banev, however, were quoted saying it seems totally incredible that a person, who has been allowed to leave the country at any moment, will inform his wife on the phone that he wanted to flee.

Until the recent arrest, there were no new charges and Court restrictions against Brando.

In the aftermath, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, informed that Banev had an Interpol arrest warrant in Switzerland on charges of trafficking 10 tons of cocaine from South America to Europe and money laundering. The Prosecutor's Office, however, denied having any information about a recent crime committed by him.

Kokinov said he had no idea about the Swiss interest towards Brando, and the impressive amount of smuggled cocaine, adding it was possible Tsvetanov knows more and different details.

Banev, his ex-wife Monica Dobrinova, her sister Desislava Dishlieva and Simo Kraychev are indicted for money laundering for over EUR 2 M from narcotics trafficking and contraband.

Meanwhile, the Bulgarian Standard daily writes that a Swiss bank expert will testify about Banev's, Monica's and Desislava's bank accounts and transactions. The testimony will, reportedly, reveal that Banev used funds from legitimate businesses as credit which he later repaid through deals with offshore companies from Panama and US, thus legalizing the money from cocaine trafficking.

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Tags: Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Switzerland, trafficking, Cocaine, drug, money laundering, arrested, Sozopol, Evelin Banev, address warrant, INTERPOL, Brando, Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, permanent detention
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