SHELL COMPANY ASSOCIATED WITH CONTROVERSIAL BULGARIAN LAWMAKER BUYS OFFICE BUILDING IN THESSALONIKI FOR EUR 4M
Bulgarian company Advance Creative Group was established in September 2018. It paid EUR 4 million in December 2018 for an office building on the prestigious “Ionos Dragumi” street in Thessaloniki. Documents obtained by Bivol indicate that the company was represented by a former manager of Vodstroy 98, a business entity associated with controversial Bulgarian media mogul and lawmaker Delyan Peevski. The transaction bears all the hallmarks of money laundering as neither the company nor its official owner had such funds.
One of the most significant real estate transactions in Thessaloniki in recent years took place at the end of 2018. An entire eight-story building on the central “Ionos Dragumi” street, within a stone’s throw of the coastal boulevard, was sold to a Bulgarian buyer that paid a total of EUR 4 million by bank transfer. EUR 1,600,000 were paid for the ground floor, which houses the famous Mamalouka restaurant, while EUR 300,000 was paid for each of the floors for a total amount of EUR 4 million. The millions have been divided between the previous owners.
Bivol is in possession of the full 100-page notary deed. It shows the name of the buyer – the Bulgarian company Advance Creative Group and, more precisely, its Greek branch, established in November 2018. Documents from the Greek Commercial Register reveal the name of the company’s representative – Anna Georgieva Pchelarova.
The Greek branch registered on November 2, 2018, had no equity, while the Bulgarian company had a capital of only BGN 10,000 at the time of the purchase and did not even have VAT registration. Such registration was entered on November 28, 2018, and the deal for the building for EUR 4 million was finalized on December 19, 2018.
The building on 3 “Ionos Dragumi street houses offices of a travel company, law firms, a dental clinic and other prestigious businesses, which now pay rent to the new owner, the newly established Bulgarian company, which acquired the building with money of unclear origin.
Peevski’s shadow “lurks” behind the shell company
Who is Anna Pchelarova? She was a member of the Board of Directors of Vodstroy 98 from 2011 to 2016. Vodstroy 98 was one of the largest construction companies associated with MP Delyan Peevski, although formally he is not present anywhere in its ownership and management.
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov ordered in 2016 the termination of the large public procurement for the Hemus highway, won by Vodstroy 98. Speaking from Prague, he explained that MP Delyan Peevski was “hovering” behind the company. In the course of several years before being weaned from the state feeder, Vodstroy managed to win public tenders worth nearly BGN 1 billion, an investigation by Bivol showed.
Pchelarova is currently the manager of the company “PM Control”, whose owner is the former official owner of Vodstroy 98, Ivan Mirinski.
But this is not the only connection between Advance Creative Group and Vodstroy 98. The company is registered in Bulgaria to the name of Aneliya Trendafilova Terziyska. A check of leaked data from the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency showed that Terziyska had worked for the company Moko Proekt, whose owner was Ivan Mirinski.
Advance Creative Group’s business address is a residential building in Sofia. The building’s entrance does not display the name of the company, but there is a plate with the last name Terziiski. No one answered the doorbell.
And a luxury house in Sofia
The purchase in Thessaloniki is not the sole investment of the shell company. In 2019, it paid BGN 1.2 million for a prestigious property – a house with an area of 336 square meters in “Residential Park” in Sofia.
Bivol sent questions to Terziyska’s personal email on the origin of the money for the building in Thessaloniki and the house in Sofia but did not receive an answer by the editorial closure of the article.
Advance Creative Group’s financing for the purchases in Greece and in Bulgaria cannot be currently explained with legal business activity. The company most likely serves as an intermediary for other entities wishing to remain unknown and not wanting to make legal investments.
In any case, the above-presented facts give grounds for an investigation of the company Advance Creative Group by the tax and law enforcement authorities in Bulgaria and Greece, particularly because of the lurking shadow of the “successful young man” Delyan Peevski, whom SPIEGEL magazine called the “iceberg of corruption” in Bulgaria.