Sofia City Court, in a ruling on February 15 2013, sentenced Evelin “Brendo” Banev to seven and a half years in jail for laundering money from illegal drug deals.
Banev intends appealing against the conviction and sentence in the Sofia Appeal Court.
The City Court also fined him 30 000 leva (about 15 000 euro) and banned him from trade activity for nine years. Banev also was ordered to reimburse the state 21 million leva in lost income.
Banev’s lawyer, Ina Lulcheva, said that the appeal against the finding of the Sofia City Court would be based on a lack of evidence justifying the conviction. That the group had travelled together made them a tour group, not an organised crime group, she said.
The allegations against Banev include leading and taking part in an organised crime group and money laundering.
Co-accused Monika Dobrinova, Banev’s ex-wife, was given a suspended sentence of three years with a probation period of five years and was fined just more than 2000 leva, as were Desislava Dishlieva – the widow of Konstantin Dishliev who was murdered in 2005 – and Simo Karaychev.
Previously, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov described Banev as a “cocaine king”.
Banev’s drug trafficking scheme was an international one, involving Italy and Spain, it was alleged.
(Photo: Jason Morrison/sxc.hu)