Suspected Crime Lord Faces Trial over Money Laundry, Smuggling

Politics | February 11, 2005, Friday // 00:00

A suspected Bulgarian underworld boss will be charged with money laundry and cigarette smuggling, estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars, a Sofia prosecutor announced.

Ivan Todorov, dubbed The Doctor, became a household name in Bulgaria after a failed attempt on his life on April 18, 2003 when his car was bombed on a packed Sofia thoroughfare.

Following the blast the country's Interior Ministry compiled a major report on organized crime. It brought about a political storm as some officials announced it included pictures of Finance Minister Milen Velchev and New Timer Miroslav Sevlievksi together with Todorov on a yacht in Monaco.

The Prosecutor's office disposes of proofs that Ivan Todorov have masterminded a cigarette smuggling channel on the territory of Macedonia. The scheme included illegal import and sale of cigarettes in Macedonia, after which the money was transferred to banks abroad.

The network started its operations in 1997 and was revamped two years later. It is believed to have operated by 2003.

Earlier this week the Plovdiv Appeals Court upheld a five-year imprisonment sentence of a lower court on Ivan Todorov on charges of kidnapping a businessman back in 1994.

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