Authorities in Liechtenstein have sent an inquiry to Bulgarian prosecutors about Corporate Commercial Bank majority shareholder Tsvetan Vassilev, currently in Serbia pending an extradition request by Bulgaria for him to face large-scale embezzlement allegations.
Bulgarian prosecutors have confirmed to local media that they have received an inquiry on the situation regarding Vassilev in Serbia and the scope and charges involved in the Bulgarian investigation into Vassilev.
Corporate Commercial Bank currently is under conservatorship of the central Bulgarian National Bank. Results of an audit are expected in October, officials have told local media, while the latest date for the bank possibly to reopen is November 22.
Bulgarian media, citing unofficial information, said that the Liechtenstein inquiry in fact had to do with alleged money-laundering.
The charges that Vassilev will face in Bulgaria involve embezzlement of hundreds of millions of leva (Vassilev rejects all allegations of wrongdoing), not money-laundering.
Prosecutors in Sofia said that they were preparing to respond to the inquiry from Liechtenstein.
Bulgarian-language website Mediapool quoted Vassilev’s lawyer Konstantin Simeonov as saying that he had seen no document that his client was being investigated by Liechtenstein and said that Serbian legal counsel for the banker had no information about an investigation into alleged money-laundering.
Bulgarian authorities sent Serbia an extradition request on September 18, two days after Vassilev handed himself over the authorities in Belgrade. Earlier, an international arrest warrant was issued for him in connection with the allegations against him in Bulgaria.
(For full coverage of the CCB situation from The Sofia Globe, click here. Photo of Vassilev from his personal website, vassilev.bg)