Prosecutor Charges Owner of Cocaine-Loaded Bulgarian Ship
The special anti-mafia Prosecutor's Office has charged Doychin Doychev, the owner of the Seaborne Trade company and of the ship SV Nikolay (Saint Nikolay) with participating in an organized crime group.
The charges stem from the he seizing of the 3 tons of cocaine from the Bulgarian ship off the Spanish coast.
He is being held behind bars for 72 hours pending appearance before a judge. Doychev insist his Burgas-based company was in charge of the security of sailing, but not of the load.
Ruslan Kolev, 37, from the capital Sofia, is going to be indicted on the same count later Saturday. He is believed to have been involved with the hiring of part of the crew and is also going to be held for 72 hours.
The authorities are still deciding who has been the group's leader.
The two, along Hristo Hristov, 46, also from Sofia, were arrested Thursday and all were released Friday evening. Dobrev and Kolev were rearrested Saturday. Hristov was allegedly the organizer of the narcotics transport. It remains unknown if he is to face charges as well.
On August 13, Spanish authorities nabbed 31 people, including 21 Bulgarians, after seizing 3 tons of cocaine brought from South America on a ship caught off the southern coast.
The operation codenamed Cartel has been carried out jointly by GDBOP, the French police, the US DEA and the UK COKA.
It was also reported that the ship, sailing under Bulgarian flag, has been intercepted and traced for two days and two nights by an ATR-42 aircraft of the Italian Finance Police.
The investigators believe that some of the detained sailors, particularly the captain, Ivan Stanchov, were part of the group. All remain behind bars in a maximum security facility in Spain.
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