2011-08-28 Forbes - Bulgaria Glorifies "Bulgaria's Energy Mafia" Leader Exposed By WikiLeaks

Bulgaria's Energy Mafia: Bogomil Manchev on the cover of Forbes

Bulgaria's Energy Mafia: Bogomil Manchev on the cover of Forbes

This week edition of Forbes - Bulgaria features Bogomil Manchev on the cover page. Manchev who's presented by Forbes as an "energy innovator" has been exposed in a secret diplomatic cable from Sofia, revealed by WikiLeaks. Bivol reminds the excerpts about Manchev from the cable named DIRTY ENERGY: CORRUPTION AND LACK OF TRANSPARENCY PLAGUE BULGARIAN ENERGY SECTOR [06SOFIA1691], sent 2006-12-20 by the chargé d'affaires in the US Embassy in Sofia - Alex Karagianis


¶7. (C) Three names always mentioned as key players in Bulgaria's so-called
"energy mafia"  are Bogomil Manchev from Risk Engineering, Krassimir Georgiev
from Frontier and Hristo Kovachki.  Manchev and Georgiev have been
omnipresent in the sector since the early 1990s, while Kovachki
is considered a new player.

¶8. (C) Bogomil Manchev's presence in the energy field, particularly
the nuclear sector, is pervasive. His engineering and consulting company,
Risk Engineering, founded in 1992, got its start working as a subcontractor
for Westinghouse for a EU Phare project related to Kozloduy's Units 1-4.
From there, Manchev and Risk's influence grew as he won successive
Phare projects for improving safety and security measures at Kozloduy
Units 3 and 4, preparing documents for the development of Bulgaria's
uranium mines in Simitli and Dospat, assessing a potential national
storehouse for radioactive waste, etc.

¶9. (C) By the time of Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha's

2011-03-19 Bulgarian "Criminal Radiation" Leaks from Unedited Wikileaks Cable

Parvanov Toshev Bozhkov

From left to right: Bulgarian president Gueorgui Parvanov, Former editor in chief of the Trud daily newspaper Tosho Toshev, Vassil Bozhkov - a controversial businessman

In June 2003, the Bulgarian weekly Kapital published an article about the privatization of "Atomenergoremont" - the Bulgarian State-owned company, (the only one), maintaining the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant. Under the suggestive title "Criminal Radiation," it exposed the main competing candidates: Vasil Bozhkov Aka "The Scull" and Konstantin Dimitrov AKA "Samokovetza,” both known as controversial figures, suspected of criminal activities.

Just a few months later, Konstantin Dimitrov Samokovetza was shot dead in Amsterdam by a contract killer. As for Atomenergoremont, it was sold to the "Bulgarian Energy Company" owned by Hristo Kovachki, the next controversial businessman, who is currently on bail over accusations of tax evasion.

However, the Wikileaks unedited cable recently revealed that James Pardew, the American ambassador to Sofia at the time, wrote in 2005 that Vasil Bozhkov "is believed to control “Risk Engineering,” another key firm in the Bulgarian nuclear business. On the other hand, Ambassador Pardew also reported that Bozhkov is considered to be the ringleader of an organized crime group. "Bozhkov's illegal activities include money laundering, privatization fraud, intimidation, extortion and racketeering," the cable notes.

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