Sofia Appellate Court ruled on July 11 to overturn the money-laundering sentence against Evelin “Brendo” Banev, Bulgarian specialist judiciary news website Legalworld.bg reported.
Banev was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail for laundering money from illegal drug deals by the Sofia City Court in February 2013. 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.
The appeals court also overturned the sentences given to three of Banev’s co-defendants in that case. The appellate judges’ motives for the ruling have not been made public yet, Legalworld.bg reported.
Banev was previously described as a “cocaine king” by former interior minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
In July 2013, Banev was found guilty on charges of drug trafficking by an Italian court, which sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment. Italian prosecutors claimed that Banev and his accomplices were responsible for the trafficking of six tonnes of cocaine from South America to Italy between 2006 and 2008.
In January, Sofia City Court also ruled to allow Banev’s extradition to Romania to stand trial on drug trafficking charges after authorities in Bucharest issued an EU-wide arrest warrant against him.
(Photo: Jason Morisson/sxc.hu)