The President of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) Borislav Mihailov celebrated in Singapore the arrival of the New Year 2011 in the company of Bulgarian mafia boss Konstantin “Kotse Matza” Hadjiivanov and Dan Tan, the boss of a global match fixing syndicate . Two weeks later, Mihailov signed a contract with a company controlled by Dan Tan for the match Bulgaria – Estonia /2:2/. The match was investigated and subsequently annulled due to a suspicious scoreline and refereeing. However, FIFA absolved the federations of Bulgaria and Estonia of wrongdoing, stating that they had been deceived by a criminal group. Now, Mihailov’s documented closeness to Dan Tan suggests a different interpretation of events.
The match between Bulgaria and Estonia took place on February 9, 2011, in Antalya and ended 2: 2 after four penalties. At least USD 6.9 million was staked to Asian bookmakers for the set result .
After the match, a scandal broke out and a FIFA investigation was launched, but it subsided three months later with the conclusion that no officials were involved. However, FIFA annulled the result of the match and admitted that it was organized for the purpose of winning bets, not for sporting reasons. The arbitrators and the proxy of the agency “Footy International Media”, who organized the event, were found guilty. There were no sanctions for the two football headquarters.
However, this match opened a large-scale Europol investigation into match fixing in several countries. The investigation, known as Operation Veto, found more than 380 cases of match fixing in various European championships and even World Cup qualifiers. Investigative teams from Italy, Greece, Finland and Hungary have joined the probe. Wilson Raj Perumal from Singapore, who was arrested in Finland and later served his sentence in Hungary, became a key informant for Operation Veto.
Bulgaria in criminal syndicate for arranging international matches
From prison, Perumal made revelations about the Singapore football mafia and named Tan Seet Eng (Dan Tan) as the main organizer of the fixed matches and bets. According to Perumal, he also organized the match Bulgaria – Estonia through the company “Footy International Media”, registered in the name of proxies.
During questioning by the Finnish police, Perumal drew a diagram of a “syndicate for fixing international matches”, in which Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Singapore are included. It is noted that the Bulgarian partners would receive a percentage of the profits even if they are not directly involved. There is also a direct connection between the Bulgarian and Singaporean partners, which is not the case with the Hungarian, Slovenian and Slovak partners.
Perumal’s scheme for a match fixing syndicate includes Bulgaria, source: invisible-dog.com
It is not known if this scheme has been investigated in Bulgaria, where everything ended with the FIFA acquittal. It has not been officially announced who are the Bulgarian partners who have a special status in the syndicate for fixing international matches. However, it is known that the investigators from Operation Veto have shown a keen interest in the scandalous Bulgarian businessman Kostadin Hadjiivanov, nicknamed Kotse Matza, and have declared him wanted for questioning.
In 2015, Singaporean journalist Zaihan Mohamed Yusuf posted photos on Dan Tan’s third wife’s Facebook profile showing Hadjiivanov posing with the Singaporean boss in front of a statue of Frankenstein.
On this occasion, FIFA match fixing specialist Terry Steans commented that Hadjiivanov and Dan Tan were identified in 2012 in the investigation of the Italian police and Europol. “The connection between Dan and Konstantin is documented in the evidence of the police in Italy, Finland and Greece. Europol has also investigated Konstantin. The photo showing Konstantin and Dan together cements the bond between them.”
BIRD contacted our colleague Zaihan Yusuf, who said that according to his data, Dan Tan had been serving a sentence in Singapore, and is now at large but refuses to communicate with the media. Wilson Raj Perumal had also served his sentence in Hungary and had been free since March this year, Yusuf said.
Borislav Mihailov, Dan Tan and Konstantin Hadjiivanov at a party in Singapore
BIRD has a photo of Dan Tan and Hadjiivanov in the company of Borislav Mihailov. The photo shows their wives and other people. It was taken on December 31, 2010 at a party at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The fact is that two weeks after celebrating with Dan Tan and Hadjiivanov, Borislav Mihailov signed the contract for the match Bulgaria – Estonia with the company “Footy International Media”. BIRD has a copy of the contract. It shows that the signature of the representative of “Footy Media” Blapp Johnsen is machine generated, but the signature of Mihailov is handwritten.
According to FIFA expert Chris Eaton, Anthony Santia Raj, Perumal’s partner, is behind the name Blapp Johnsen.
The photo in Marina Bay Sands cements the connection between the boss of the black lotto Dan Tan and the current head of a European Football Federation Borislav Mihailov.
We met with Borislav Mihailov at the exit of the VIP terminal at Sofia Airport, where he arrived on the evening of May 29 on a private flight from Paris. Mihailov saw the photo and visibly frowned, then refused to answer the question of how long he had known Dan Tan and pushed our reporter. After that, Mihailov was called on the number where his name appears in Viber. He read the messages asking for an interview, but did not respond.
After the match Bulgaria – Estonia Borislav Mihailov gave an interview to now defunct channel TV7, in which he said the following:
“We are constantly receiving invitations to matches from agents from different companies. We received one from this company for the first time. We also sent a letter to the Estonian federation to see if they also received an invitation. We have not checked the company “Footy Media” in question, we do not know if there are offshore companies behind them and things like that. A four-party agreement was signed by us, Estonia, this company and a FIFA agent. The agent represents the company, he guarantees them, he guarantees the match. His name is Vyacheslav Protsenko – Moscow (Russia). The agent is required to have an appointment. Absolutely normal match and normal organization.”
If Mihailov’s words are true, the family party in Singapore with Dan Tan should be an unprecedented coincidence, because it is Dan Tan who is behind the Footy Media in question.
The media made an effort to find Hadjiivanov, who, according to reports, has been seen in recent years in Bulgaria and Greece. Unfortunately, BIRD was unable to contact him for comment.
Who is Konstantin “Kotse Matza” Hadjiivanov?
Hadjiivanov’s presence in photos with Dan Tan leads to a reasonable assumption that he is among the so-called “Bulgarian partners” in the Singapore match fixing syndicate, about which Perumal gave information to the police.
The former president of FC Belasitsa Konstantin Hadjiivanov is among the symbols of corruption and crime in Bulgarian football. In December 2008, he was sentenced in the German city of Augsburg to a two-year probation and a fine of EUR 120,000 for illegal cigarette trafficking.
Hadjiivanov was convicted in less than three months after being extradited to Germany from Greece. Greek authorities detained him in connection with a European arrest warrant at the Promahon border crossing. Acquaintances say that Hadjiivanov was then in the company of a lawmaker from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a political party largely representing Bulgarian Muslims, but in reality linked to numerous corruption scandals. The politiciantried to identify himself with a diplomatic passport or a parliamentary card, but the Greek police told him they were not interested in him and “showed him the way”.
Hadjiivanov is said to be a major factor in fixing matches. Today, apparently no one is looking for him, despite the interest in him ten years ago from Europol and Interpol. Sources of BIRD.BG claim that Hadjiivanov appears regularly in Thessaloniki, where he was seen in the company of FC Slavia Sofia boss Ventsislav Stefanov, another football club boss with strong ties to mafia figures like Mladen “Madjo” Mihalev. The latter also owns property in the region of Khalkidhiki and they often visited each other.
Our investigation established that Konstantin Hadjiivanov still maintains an active business in Singapore. There, his partners are significant figures in Bulgarian football, which will be examined in the sequel of this article.
/to be continued/
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