Secret Files Committee reveals: CorpBank was State Security bank

Tsvetan Vassilev

CorpBank was essentially a bank of the State Security. The revelation was made by a decision of the Secret Files Committee, published on its official website on 19 March. It concerns natural persons who have disclosed transferring their claims or made a declaration of intention for set-offs after the lender was placed under special supervision.

The Committee’s data shows that some of the biggest depositors in the bank that was embezzled by Tsvetan Vassilev were informants of the obscurantist State Security. Some 29 of them have a past as agents, with 28 having worked for the State Security and one for the Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. It is worth noting that 21 of these individuals were agents and another seven were on the pay-roll. One of the depositors turned out to be a part-time associate of the State Security, the Committee’s declassified documents show. Somewhat interesting are the aliases of the landlords whose lodgings were used for secret meetings. Two of them chose the same one – Bor (Pine). One of the ladies opted for a code name “77”, reminiscent of James Bond’s Agent 007. Other curious aliases of big CorpBank depositors include Atelier, Balkan, Robov, Romanov and Chorbanski.

However, by far the most intriguing big depositors are two individuals with ties to the totalitarian security services who used the biblical name Jacob and the name of the Christian saint Cosmas as aliases. Even more intriguing is the fact that the Gigin Monastery, whose donor is the fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev, is named after the saint and his brother, St Damian. The images of the fraudster and his wife can still be seen depicted in frescoes in the cloister. For the younger of our readers, let us remind that the two brothers Cosmas and Damian were healers who treated people for free.

Tsvetan Vassilev, aka the Bulgarian Madoff, fled to Serbia in 2014 and since then has been refusing to return to Bulgaria to be tried for engineering CorpBank’s collapse. He is charged with leading an organised crime group, which allegedly embezzled nearly BGN 2.7bn from CorpBank. One of Vassilev’s attorneys, Lazar Karadaliev, has three charges against him. One of them is for leading an organised crime group for money laundering, while another is for involvement in a cigarette contraband gang. However, the most serious charge concerns the Prosecutor’s Office’s conclusion that Karadaliev tried to exert pressure on one of the main witnesses against Tsvetan Vassilev – Biser Lazarov.  

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