US State Department Puts Sanctions on the Bulgarian Oligarch Bojkov, Former Beneficiary of the Moldovan National Lottery Company

US State Department Puts Sanctions on the Bulgarian Oligarch Bojkov, Former Beneficiary of the Moldovan National Lottery Company
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04 June 2021 | 13:41

Oligarch Vassil Kroumov Bojkov, one of the richest citizens of Bulgaria, who has businesses in Moldova and is a former beneficiary of the Moldovan National Lottery, is on the new list of sanctions imposed by the US State Department. Nicknamed the “skull” or “king of gambling”, Bojkov runs businesses in the hotel industry, construction, tourism, gambling, insurance, or duty-free shops.

The list of sanctions imposed by the US State Department also includes Delyan Slavchev Peevski, former Member of the Bulgarian Parliament, and Ilko Dimitrov Zhelyazkov, former Deputy Head of the Bulgarian State Agency for Technical Operations, as well as companies owned or controlled by them.

Bojkov, Peevski, and Zhelyazkov are accused of corruption schemes, abuse of public institutions’ profits, and tax evasion.

“The corrupt activities of these people demonstrate how ubiquitous corruption goes hand in hand with other illicit activities. In order to further protect the international financial system from the abuse of corrupt people, the Treasury encourages all governments to implement appropriate and effective anti-money laundering measures to eradicate corruption in all its forms,” the US State Department said in a statement.

Bulgarian businessman and oligarch Vassil Kroumov Bojkov has repeatedly bribed various government officials, including a current Bulgarian political leader and former chairman of the former Bulgarian State Gambling Commission.

According to the US State Department, Bojkov is currently in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In 2020, he was accused of committing corruption schemes, including leading an organized criminal group, attempted bribery, and tax evasion. He is also accused of embezzling Bulgarian state assets, expropriating private assets for personal gain and corruption schemes carried out through government contracts.

In an investigation, it was found that in February 2018, Bojkov bribed the chairman of the State Gambling Commission with 10,000 Bulgarian Levs (approximately 6,220 US dollars) daily to revoke the gambling licenses of the Bojkov’s competitors. Following the corruption scheme implemented by the Bulgarian oligarch, the State Gambling Commission president resigned and was arrested, and the institution was closed down.

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