Bulgaria’s Dossier Commission, the body that discloses people in public life that had links to the country’s communist-era State Security and military intelligence, has released a new list of credit millionaires and senior banking officials who were agents and collaborators with the former secret services.
The law enables the commission to check people with bad loans from the time of the era of credit millionaires and people who were members of the management or supervisory bodies of the banks at the time.
The commission, in a September 25 report, said that it had checked 348 people with debts to Biochim Bank but added that its investigations were continuing into others because data to identify the debtors was missing.
The commission named the former president of Levski FC, former goalkeeper Thomas Lafchis, as having been a State Security agent from 1980. He was checked because a company in which he was a partner was listed by Bulgarian National Bank as owing in 1997 two non-performing loans from Biochim Bank adding up to 464 million leva.
Reports suggested that it was likely he was recruited ahead of going to play for a Greek football team from 1981 to 1983. One of his State Security handlers, Ivan Genev, had worked at Bulgarian missions in Greece in the guise of a diplomat, website desebg.com said.
Coincidentally, a week earlier the Dossier Commission disclosed that another former footballer, Plamen Markov – who played for Levski’s rival CSKA and was coach of the national football team – had been a State Security agent. Markov was identified when the Dossier Commission checked candidate MPs ahead of the October 5 elections. He is a candidate nominated by Tatyana Doncheva’s Movement 21 party.
The Dossier Commission began checking credit millionaires in 2013. It has identified a long list of people across a range of banks, some defunct and some still in operation.
On September 24 2014, the Dossier Commission released the results of its check into First Investment Bank’s management and supervisory bodies, done in terms of the law on checking on top bank officials to establish whether they had ties to the former secret services.
It said that Ivailo Mutafchiev, vice chairman of the board of directors and executive director from 1993 to 1998 and a member of the supervisory board from 1998 to 2000, and Yordan Skorchev, a member of the board and CEO from 2001 to 2012 and a member of the supervisory board from October 2011, both had been State Security agents.
Desebg.com said that Mutafchiev was known as a co-owner of the lending institution with business partner Tseko Minev. In the most recent ranking by the Bulgarian version of Forbes magazine of the most influential people in the country, they ranked eighth.
(Photo: Christa Rickert/sxc.hu)