Bulgarian Mobster Pair Charged with Money Laundering
Bulgaria's special anti-mafia Prosecutor's Office has charged notorious Bulgarian gangster pair Angel Hristov and Plamen Galev aka the "Galevi brothers" with money laundering in the amount of BGN 35.5 M.
Galevi are accused of leading an organized crime group, established with the purpose of bank transfers of money by the use of forged documents and of large-scale money laundering, the Prosecutor's Office announced Friday.
Two other individuals have been part of the group – Metodi Kovachev and Hristinka Angelova. More people are been sought in connection with the crime.
The investigation is conducted jointly by the anti-mafia Prosecutor's Office, the Interior Ministry, and the National Agency for State Security, DANS, in partnership with the US FBI.
The group acted from the beginning of 2003 till the end of 2010 in Sofia and the southwestern town of Dupnitsa.
It used forged contracts for the purchase and import of various goods.
Huge amounts of money have been transferred from Bulgarian banks to banks in Switzerland, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, Cyprus, the Seychelles, and China.
Kovachev has been placed on own recognizance while Angelova is released on a BGN 5 000 bail.
The underworld bosses were declared wanted for "organized crime/transnational crime" at the request of the Bulgarian authorities.
The "Galevi brothers" disappeared at the beginning of May after the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation finally confirmed their organized crime sentences. The two were supposed to be sent to jail for 5 and 4 years respectively.
On May 9, Galev and Hristov were issued a nationwide search warrant amidst reports they fled abroad with a huge stash of money and strong criticism on the part of the European Commission.
The search of the Bulgarian authorities ended up with no result, while in the meantime the executive and judiciary exchanged accusations for the blunder of letting the two mobsters get away.
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