Former MP and media mogul Delyan Peevski is associated with three offshore companies for which there is no trace in the property declarations he submitted. The data on them are from the international investigation of the Pandora Files.
On November 19, 2013, the subsidiary of the offshore legal services provider Trident Trust in Switzerland commissioned an employee to form the change of ownership of the company Felina Trade & Investment Inc. It is registered in the British Virgin Islands at the request of Liechtenstein-based Jura Trust AG.
Change of ownership documents were sent as attachments in an internal Trident Trust email. On November 12, 2013, Felina’s $50,000 capital was transferred by Lassandra Corporation, registered with BVI, to Panamanian Inversiones Y Servicios Piedra Azul S.A.
Most of the directors of the companies in question are unknown citizens of BVI and Panama. However, one of the documents confirming the change of ownership lists Delyan Peevski as director of Felina.
At that time, Peevski was a member of the MRF in the 42nd National Assembly and had a short experience as a director of the State Agency for National Security (DANS) in his career. His scandalous appointment by parliament with the votes of the MRF and BSP triggered many months of protests against the Oresharski government.
It is not clear how long the MP has been the director of the company, but when he submitted his annual declaration for 2013 in 2014, there was no trace of Felina in it.
In fact, Peevski cannot declare his directorship in Felina, as such a column does not appear in the declarations filled in by MPs. The Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly explicitly prohibit MPs from participating in management or supervisory bodies of commercial companies and cooperatives. Upon taking office, each Member of the National Assembly shall complete a special declaration that he does not hold incompatible positions. Peevski has declared that he is not a manager of companies.
Deputies can have property in commercial companies, but must declare them. The Pandora files prove that Peevski has also violated this legal requirement.
For years, Delyan Peevski declared only two apartments and a house with a yard in Sofia, as well as an Opel car for BGN 1,000. The lightening of the MP’s possessions began with his declaration from 2016 (for the previous 2015), when he declared himself the owner of several Bulgarian and foreign companies. Upon entering the 44th National Assembly in 2017, Peevski announced ownership in three foreign companies and one Bulgarian company.
In 2019, the DPS MP declared that in 2018 he had ownership in only one company – Proof Method Marketing. But this does not correspond to the real state of his dominions.
The Pandora files show that Peevski has not declared $ 100,000 stakes in the firm Verum International Limited. It was registered in Seychelles in 2016 and its owner is Dubai’s IGWT Limited, also owned by Peevski. On July 1, 2018, Peevski signed a document declaring himself the real owner of Verum’s shares, respectively IGWT, and at the same time transferring them to IGWT. Adv. Alexander Angelov. There is also a copy of his passport.
On September 21, 2018, Angelov sent instructions to the registration company Alfa Consulting to liquidate Verum International Limited. The company was permanently deleted a few months later in May 2019.
In none of Peevski’s declarations from 2016 to 2019 is there any trace of Verum International and its $100,000 capital, nor of IGWT Limited. The concealment of data in a declaration before KPKONPI is at least an occasion to initiate proceedings for a full inspection by the Anti-Corruption Commission of Sotir Tsatsarov.
Whether the hiding of offshore companies also constitutes a document crime under art. 313 is a controversial issue. In the past, MRF politician Hristo Bisserov and the former head of the NRA, Maria Murgina, have acquired charges under this article for undeclared property. Both were acquitted by the court.
So far, Peevski has been repeatedly inspected on various signals from the prosecutor’s office, but without any consequences. In April 2021, the US administration blacklisted Peevski for participating in corruption schemes. The former lawmaker is challenging the sanctions, and the MRF party continues to defend him publicly before Bulgarian and European institutions, claiming that there is no evidence that he is involved in corruption.
Our attempts to contact Peevski for comment, with Atty. Angelov or his American lawyers failed.
The international consortium ICIJ included Delyan Peevski in the list of 300 influential people highlighted in the Pandora-Files. His profile states that he is an oligarch, a former lawmaker and media mogul sanctioned by the United States for corruption. Bivol’s investigation is cited, according to which Peevski is considered the visible symbol and the embodiment of the “Deep State” in Bulgaria, as a frontman of former officers and agents from the State Security close to the parties MRF and BSP, who govern behind the scenes and control huge assets.
Who is Peevski’s lawyer?
Adv. Alexander Angelov is the son of Paraskev Paraskevov – a personnel officer of the State Security and Deputy Chairman of the State Security. Minister in the Ministry of Interior during the Viden Government, responsible for the National Security Direction.
Paraskevov’s signature appeared in documents from the register of foreign lobbyists in the United States as a representative of the law firm Aviora Consult, which hires lobbyists to protect Peevski’s interests.
“Aviora Consult” is owned by his son Alexander Angelov. A study by the investigative portal Bivol, citing documents from the NRA, points out that millions pass through this company from Peevski’s personal accounts, which pay for various services in his favor: expensive lobbyists in the United States, media maintenance, etc.
Another investigation by Bivol, based on the Panama Papers , proves that Angelov is the ultimate beneficiary of two offshore companies associated with the interests of Delyan Peevski. These are Viafot Ltd., claiming ownership of the Dunarit arms plant, and Doreco Limited, which is an instrument for lending and transferring hundreds of millions of dollars of assets to strawmen.
According to documents from the Commercial Register, Angelov represented key enterprises from the business empire associated with Peevski and his mother Irena Krasteva – IPK “Rodina”, “United Bulgarian Newspapers”, “Standard” and others. According to banker Tsvetan Vassilev, it is Angelov who directly represents the interests of Delyan Peevski in the privatization of Bulgartabac and in other deals financed by CCB.
What do we know about Peevski’s secret companies?
Apart from the data available in the Pandora Files, almost nothing is known about these companies. It is not clear what assets are controlled through them and whether bank accounts or real estate have been formed in their name, the ultimate beneficiary of which would be Peevski. Apparently, the connection of Felina, Verum and IGWT with Peevski has not been detected by the US authorities, who in June this year introduced financial sanctions against the former media mogul and the companies controlled by him under the global Magnitsky Act. The companies are also not included in the Bulgarian Magnitsky list, which was prepared by the Ministry of Finance.
Lassandra Corporation, registered with BVI, is a classic front company owned by Jura Trust AG since 2003. It is reported to hold shares in other companies as a nominal owner for Jura Trust customers from Ukraine and Hungary.
The Panamanian Inversiones Y Servicios Piedra Azul S.A. is currently inactive, but it has the same function of a shield concealing the beneficial owners.
No details are known about the subsequent fate of Dubai’s IGWT Limited, which is registered in the Ajman Free Zone. IGWT can also be read as an abbreviation of the inscription In God We Trust from the US dollar.
In Bulgaria there is an active company called IG Double U.T. CORPORATION, whose transliteration is I. G. W. T. CORPORATION Ltd. It was established in 2010 in Plovdiv with BGN 100. Capital and its owner is Israeli citizen Aaron David Zaku. According to the Commercial Register, in the past the company had a stake in the capital of real estate companies, hotels and medical laboratories. There is no formal connection with Dubai’s IGWT Limited, nor with any of Peevski’s popular strawmen. The company owes BGN 683,540.99. of the NRA according to data as of July 2021.
A check in the Bulgarian Commercial Register showed that the offshore companies Felina Trade, Verum International are not owners of shares in Bulgarian companies. It seems that they do not directly control assets in Bulgaria.
Until 2013 there was a company “Felina – Bulgaria” for the production of women’s underwear, which was owned by the Swiss Felina International. However, a check in the Swiss register does not reveal a connection with Felina Trade by BVI.
What’s in the Pandora-Files?
The Pandora Files contain leaked data from a total of 14 companies, so-called Secret Brokers, providing legal services for the registration and maintenance of offshore companies. Among them are the Trident Trust and Alfa Consulting, which registered Felina and Verum respectively. But the data shows that other companies also work with Bulgarian clients. The previous leak known as the Panama Papers contained files from only one company the now liquidated Mossac & Fonseca.
The international consortium of investigative journalists ICIJ has more than 11.9 million files of corporate, financial and personal information about offshore owners that have been leaked from the secret brokers in question. For months, more than 600 journalists from 117 countries have been studying this information, implicating the world’s elite in asset concealment. This is the largest global journalistic investigation to date.
Publications in more than 150 media outlets around the world began on Oct. 3 and reveal secret deals and hidden assets of more than 330 politicians and high-ranking government officials, including 35 state leaders from more than 90 countries and territories.
Among the current and former leaders illuminated by the investigation are King Abdullah II of Jordan, the prime ministers of Côte d’Ivoire and the Czech Republic, the presidents of Ukraine, Ecuador, Kenya and Gabon, close to President Putin, former presidents of El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay and Honduras, former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and many others.
BIRD.BG is ICIJ’s partner in the investigation and examines the information about nearly 200 persons with Bulgarian citizenship or living in Bulgaria that appear in the Pandora-Files. Among them are two politicians, one of whom is Peevski, big financiers, lawyers, individuals associated with multimillion-dollar fraudulent schemes, but also entrepreneurs with regular business and no visible political protections, who have registered offshore companies and announced them to the Bulgarian authorities.
Globally, the amounts hidden in offshore destinations for which data are available in the Pandora Files are estimated at several trillion dollars. In the Bulgarian segment, data are available for large-scale detriment of Bulgarian taxpayers by at least BGN 1 billion.
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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.
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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.
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*За кръстник на новата ни фондонабираща кампания избрахме другарката Ваня. Благодарим й за вдъхновението!
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