Danail Ganchev, the son of the prominent Bulgarian businessman Grisha Ganchev, will remain in prison, the Bulgarian Special Court of Organized Crime ruled late Sunday evening. Ganchev and five others were arrested on suspicion of organized crime and tax evasion following a special police operation codenamed “Sugar.”
The group is accused of stealing millions of Bulgarian levs through tax evasion. In two months alone, the group stole BGN 200,000 (US$131,219), the Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told NTV. Tsvetanov said that the investigation is still in its beginning phase, and that the total amount stolen by the group is probably much greater.
On Thursday, officers of the Chief Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP), Economic Police and the National Revenue Agency (NRA) raided the headquarters of the Litex Commerce conglomerate owned by Grisha Ganchev. The raid resulted in six arrests.
Danail Ganchev, Milko Talev, Ivaylo Talev, Todor Simeonov, Milko Dimitrov and Kameliya Mircheva are charged with organized crime and large-scale tax evasion.
According to a statement by the Interior Ministry, the organized crime group had also planned to import 25 metric tons of allegedly toxic sugar from the Chernobyl region in Ukraine. If this 25 ton “test” shipment was successfully imported into the country, the group allegedly planned to set up regular imports of the sugar. If not, the sugar would be used in the production of juice by Ganchev’s company.
Grisha Ganchev owns four out of six sugar refineries in Bulgaria. He is also one of the main importers of sugar in the country. Ganchev was questioned by the GDBOP Friday, and dismissed the allegations of tax fraud.
According to Ganchev, his companies were victims of grey business. "We have reported the smugglers to the prosecuting authority," he told 24 Hours daily.
Kameliya Mircheva, a member of the "Litex Commerce" Supervisory Board, was placed under house arrest, on account of poor health and being a single mother. Ganchev and the other four will remain in prison.