Courts in Bulgaria and Switzerland have impounded assets worth 603.7 million leva held by Tsvetan Vassilev, the former majority shareholder in the insolvent Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB), and his immediate family, Bulgaria’s asset forfeiture commission said in a statement on December 1.
The commission said that it sought the impounding of the assets as collateral in a future lawsuit that the commission planned to file, against Vassilev and his family, as well as entities controlled by them, which would seek to recoup 963 million leva in assets.
The 603.7 million leva figure included stakes in 11 companies, shares in seven other companies, money held in 20 separate accounts, four vehicles, an art collection of 288 paintings, 16 real estate properties and nine other properties in Bansko, Sozopol, Varna and Tsarevo.
In Switzerland, the local court impounded a 47.6 million leva property and money held in four accounts in Swiss banks, but the asset forfeiture commission did not specify if the value of those assets was included in the 603.7 million leva figure.
Vassilev is wanted on charges of embezzlement of 206 million leva from the lender, which was declared insolvent earlier this year. He is currently in Serbia, where he is fighting an extradition request from Bulgarian authorities.
CCB, Bulgaria’s fourth-largest lender by assets, was put under the central bank’s administration in June 2014 following a bank run on deposits. An audit in October 2014 found that the bank held mainly impaired assets, requiring a write-down of 4.22 billion leva (about 2.16 billion euro), which led to CCB losing its banking licence a month later.
(For full coverage of the CCB situation from The Sofia Globe, click here. Photo of Vassilev from his personal website, vassilev.bg)