Last year, before the visit of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, two critical assembly lines at the State owned weapons factory VMZ, producing 152 mm shells stopped simultaneously, writes in today’s edition Le Monde. The French media quoted an unnamed government source as saying it was “very much like sabotage”. Earlier this week, a RFE/RL video was published, recalling the explosions at Bulgarian weapons sites, including a VMZ warehouse in 2015. Documents seen by BIRD reveal that the physical security of key VMZ Sopot sites has been severely compromised and entrusted to a dubious company.
The topic of explosions and alleged sabotage in Bulgarian arms factories and warehouses has been regularly present in the media reports for ten years, but has become particularly relevant after the Russian aggression in Ukraine. The questions of who and how guards these sites are also of great public interest.
“Prerequisites for malicious actions”
The physical security of at least five sites of VMZ Sopot is carried out by “Traffic SOT”, in which Ivan Petleshkov is co-owner. The company has contracts with VMZ signed by the Executive Director of the state-owned enterprise Ivan Getsov in 2018 under numbers 180189-AB/31.08.2018 and 180251-AB/03.12.2018. monthly under both contracts. But security services have very serious gaps, according to a report from external experts who have carried out an audit of the quality of the physical security provided.
The inspection was assigned by order ID-22-514/14.07.2022 to the then Executive Director of VMZ EAD and was carried out on 19.07.2022. The list of detected gaps and problems is long, but it is noteworthy that one finding is highlighted in italics in the final report:
None of the inspected sites have installed technical security and control systems such as – Signal Security ·systems /SOS/. Video surveillance systems /SVN/, Perimeter security, Access control systems and patrol control systems. It relies only on physical armed guards.
As well as the conclusions:
The inconsistencies and omissions in the implementation of the contracts for physical armed security for the sites of VMZ EAD – Sofia were found during the inspection. Sopot on the part of the contractor “Traffic SOT” Ltd. leads to low quality of the service provided. Deficiencies in the organization of security activities, which in certain situations may pose a significant risk to the security of the objects and property entrusted to them. The lack of any technical security systems / SOFIA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, SVN, SCC / local or centralized and brought to the Assoc, reduce the level of security of the guarded sites, as Create prerequisites for unauthorized access to the sites and the performance of malicious actions. Failure to fulfill the obligations regarding the number of security guards performing security activities is an abuse of the trust of the Contracting Authority and financially damages the contracting authority VMZ EAD – rp. Sopot.
The emphasis of the text on “prerequisites for unsanctioned access and malicious actions” is from the editorial office. Contracts, invoices and reports can be downloaded from this link.
Strategic site under the protection of Peevski and Taki?
Ivan Petleshkov became known as a secret witness of the prosecution in the case of extortion of Delyan Peevski and Ahmed Dogan, in which Diliyan Georgiev and two Romanian citizens were charged years ago. According to Petleshkov’s testimony, the defendants showed him on the iPad a report of an unnamed service describing cigarette smuggling and terrorist financing. The report included the names of the two “blackmailed” – Dogan and Peevski. Petleshkov was asked to convey that for a sum of 12 million euros their names could be deleted. However, he turned to the prosecutor’s office. In the course of the case, it became clear that Dogan and Peevski did not even know that they would have been blackmailed.
Currently, Diliyan Georgiev is again detained, but in a case that Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev loudly declared as a “conspiracy against the state”. However, the charges of the detainee are only for possession of drugs, which he claims have been thrown at him, along with notes with text in English and Bulgarian and 50,000 euros in cash.
Petleshkov is also the main character in a report published by the BIRD.BG, which describes the corrupt actions of senior GDNP policemen. According to the data in the report, Ivan Petleshkov was close to Christoforos Amanatidis – Taki . Through it, the head of the Homicide Sector in the GDNP, Mihail Naumov, handed over to Taki information from the SSD and hung an umbrella over the investigations into murders related to the crime boss. An expensive excursion of Mihail Naumov and others to Cuba, which was paid by Petleshkov, is described in detail. The persons with whom the police bosses went fishing by yacht during the excursion also worked for Taki, says the informant for the reference, which is a material evidence in the murder case of the policeman Lyubomir Ivanov.
Amanatidis is under investigation in a case of money laundering and terrorist financing in the Seychelles, together with Konstantin Varbanov the brother of the former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Rositsa Kirova from GERB. Kirova initially gravitated around ITN, but after Borisov drove her in his jeep, she became one of the blades of his party in parliament. According to Seychelles investigators, Taki and Kirova’s brother traveled frequently to the island republic and faced charges against local oligarch Mukesh Valabji, who years ago invested stolen millions in property in Bulgaria. Kirova herself turned out to be a partner of Kosovo drug lord Ismet Osmani.
The availability of these data should raise serious questions about the safety of the Sopot VMZ site, as well as our national security in general. Director Ivan Getsov, who signed a contract with Traffic Security System, was removed on February 14, 2022 by former Economy Minister Kornelia Ninova. But despite the identified omissions, creating opportunities for malicious actions, a year later Petleshkov’s company continues to protect the strategic enterprise.
Le Monde recalls in its material the attempted murder of arms dealer Emilian Gebrev with Novichok by GRU agents. An investigation by the site Bivol found that the real owner of the offshore “Viafot”, with which Gebrev led a legal battle over the ownership of the Dunarit arms company, is att. Sasho Angelov, one of the closest persons of Delyan Peevski, sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act.
Щом сте стигнали дотук, вероятно вече си задавате въпроса как се финансира този журналистически проект.
От създаването си BIRD се финансираше от подаяния в нашето журналистическо чекмедже.
Но на чекмеджето му мина времето. Даже прокуратурата затвори онова Чекмедже, знаете кое…
Нашето финансиране влиза в крак с епохата. Фондонабиращата ни кампания вече се казва
Дарявай за BIRD и мятай павета в блатото с корумпирани политици и други тарикати.
Те тайно премятат пари от твоя джоб в своя. Те размятат безнаказано лукса си пред очите на всички. Няма кой да ги накаже ако се надяваш на държавата.
Мятай, за да ги накажеш ти. Да дариш за разследващите журналисти е гаранция, че гадостите, с които силните на деня те замерят, ще им се върнат.
Можеш да метнеш веднъж, за да ти олекне!
Но по-добре е да мяташ редовно всеки месец и да се чувстваш трайно удовлетворен.
А най-добре е да доведеш приятели и да мятаме редовно заедно в екип. С мощен залп!
*За кръстник на новата ни фондонабираща кампания избрахме другарката Ваня. Благодарим й за вдъхновението!