Bulgaria’s ‘banitsa bandit’ pleads guilty in 1.47M leva robbery suit – updated

Georgi Enev, the security guard charged with stealing 1.47 million leva (about 750 000 euro) from an armoured van, pleaded guilty and received a prison sentence of eight years during a hearing at the Plovdiv District Court on July 31.

Enev made headlines in June 2012, when he carried out the robbery after deviating from the prescribed route and asking his colleague to buy a banitsa (pastry) for him. He then moved the money bags into his own car and disappeared.

After a manhunt that went on for several days, Enev turned himself in, but refused to answer any questions about the money, which the police have been unable to find to this time.

Enev pleaded guilty after his lawyer asked for the case to be tried using fast-tracked court proceedings. Under Bulgarian law, fast-track proceedings do away with witness questioning if the defendant agrees to the facts as presented by prosecutors or chooses to plead guilty. Such proceedings are meant to reduce the large case load in the Bulgarian judiciary and lower court costs.

By law, the sentence issued in fast-track court cases is automatically reduced by one third. Enev faces a prison sentence ranging from 10 to 20 years for aggravated robbery. Prosecutors asked for the heaviest sentence possible, 20 years imprisonment, local news agency Focus reported.

Instead, Enev was sentence to eight years. Both the prosecution and the defence were undecided whether to appeal the sentence, Focus said.

Enev, reportedly an avid fan of bodybuilding and a former member of Bulgaria’s military who served on two missions abroad, has no previous criminal record. Bulgarian-language media reports at the time of the robbery said that Enev was in debt to the tune of 40 000 leva.

The van that was robbed was owned by security company Group4Securicor. In April 2012, another of the company’s vans was robbed near Lovech, in a heist that netted the robbers a reported two million leva.

(Photo: foxumon/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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