A Bucharest court sentenced Evelin “Brendo” Banev to 14 years in jail on charges of drug trafficking, Bulgarian media reported on May 26. Banev was accused of smuggling 51kg of cocaine into the country.
Romania becomes the third country in which Banev was convicted on drug-related charges. In March, an appeals court in Milan ruled to uphold a 20-year sentence against Banev following a retrial – he had been found guilty on charges of drug trafficking at a trial concluded in July 2013, had the sentence confirmed by the appeals court, but a high court ordered a retrial last year.
He was also sentenced by a Bulgarian court in February 2013 to seven and a half years in jail for laundering money from illegal drug deals and was ordered to reimburse the state 21 million leva in lost income. The appeals court in Sofia ruled in 2014 to overturn his sentence, but the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation later reversed the ruling in May 2015, ordering the appeals court to hear the case again.
In Romania, Banev has been wanted on charges of drug trafficking since 2013, when authorities in Bucharest issued an EU-wide arrest warrant against him and an alleged accomplice. After securing extradition from Bulgaria in January 2014, the trial in Romania began in June 2014, news website Mediapool.bg reported.
(Photo: Jason Morisson/sxc.hu)