Mashora: 224 years in prison are waiting for me in Greece for trafficking in migrants, and I have not set foot there

– 64-year-old Toshko Todorov from the Karlovo village of Stoletovo pledges his house to pay lawyers

– In the camper, which sold 2 years ago, 28 migrants were caught

Mashora's relatives and friends defended him in court in Plovdiv.

Mashora’s relatives and friends defended him in court in Plovdiv. PHOTO: Vanya Draganova

– The case for his extradition is on October 28

Todorov's daughter and wife, Stephanie and Diana, hope he will not be extradited.

Todorov’s daughter and wife, Stephanie and Diana, hope he will not be extradited. PHOTO: Radko Paunov

Toshko Todorov-Mashora from the Karlovo village of Stoletovo is counting the hours in his home and is praying that the Plovdiv District Court will not hand him over to the Greek authorities.

He has been under house arrest since October 14. Previously

He spent 9 days behind

the bars,

detained with


detention order,

issued by our southern neighbor. But the Plovdiv Court of Appeals ruled that there was no danger of absconding and committing another crime, and imposed a lesser measure.

Mashora has been accused by Greek authorities of trafficking in refugees after 28 migrants were caught in a camper sold by him two years ago in the Drama area. Under Greek law, he faces 224 years in prison.

The case in Plovdiv is on October 28, which will essentially decide whether Mashora should be extradited. “As you stand, the guillotine falls on you,” the man said desperately. He claims that if he is sent to Greece, he will rot in prison. According to him, it never crossed his mind that such a thing would happen to him.

On the morning of October 5, his wife called him and said that there were two patrols in front of their house in the village of Stoletovo and the police were looking for him because a European arrest warrant had been issued in his name. Mashora is a driver, transporting workers from the surrounding villages to the factories. He finished his shift and was getting ready to go home when Diana called him at 8.30. She boiled it in Sopot, he returned immediately and asked the police what it was about, since he had never broken the law. “And they didn’t know, they just told me I had a European arrest warrant. My wife packed some luggage and they took me away “, Toshko Todorov returns the tape.

“I was an international driver and 4-5 years ago my wallet was stolen in Italy with all the documents and cards. When they took me to the detention center, I thought that someone might have abused them, “said the 64-year-old man.

However, when he gets acquainted with the accusation, things turn out to be much worse. At the end of October – beginning of November 2019, near the Greek city of Drama, 28 migrants were caught in a Citroen camper – from Iran, Iraq and Bangladesh.

Until August 2019

the camper was

of Mashora,

then he sold it to a young blueberry man from Pleven named Tsvetomir Ivanchev. A month later, Todorov checked with the traffic police and found that the car was deregistered. However, when migrants are caught

are in the car

found both

coupons on which

writes the name of


The Bulgarian license plates were also found in the glove compartment, otherwise the car had fake Greek plates. Thus, Mashora, who was in Bulgaria at the time, turned out to be an accomplice in human trafficking.

Under Greek law

for each


the punishment is

at least 8 g.

prison. That is why Toshko faces 224 years behind bars. “Better a death sentence,” the man commented. He has many diseases – high blood pressure, diabetes, prostate problems, gout. He was about to have a knee replacement because he has difficulty moving, but all this is now left in the background.

Todorov bought the camper in 2017 for BGN 4,000. The vehicle was in a miserable condition, Mashora tightened it and he and his family went on vacation with him several times, including to Alexandroupolis in 2018. He also went to motocross competitions with him. Then he decided to sell it.

When buyers called him, he was at sea with his wife in Lozenets. “A boy called and shouted, ‘I want to see him tomorrow, if you don’t come back from the sea, I’m giving up.’ I came home, 3 young men came. The one who bought it took 2 boys with him. They explained to me that

they will drive it

in Italy and will


super luxurious

I was told to get whatever I wanted from the equipment. It seemed strange to me, the bus was manufactured in 1988 and if you have money, it makes more sense to buy a new one. But it was not my business what they would do. On August 8, 2019, we confessed to the deal “, explains Mashora. He paid for the transfer, took out the insurance and, after making sure that the car was deregistered, forgot about it. The camper was no longer registered in his name, so they did not ask him to pay taxes for 2020 and 2021.

Mashora claims that the driver arrested with the migrants – Radko Vatov from Pleven, drowned him.

“He said I did

I have passed

the border with it,

then I went home and guided him on the phone. However, I was not in Greece at all at that time, my lawyer checked and there is no evidence that I went through Promahon “, says Toshko Todorov.

He is now awaiting under house arrest the Bulgarian court’s decision on whether he will be extradited to Greece. The case was scheduled for October 12, but was adjourned for the 28th in the Plovdiv District Court. During this time, the Greek judicial authorities were sent traffic police data on the property of the camper at the time of the crime, inquiries were requested from the Border Police about the entrances and exits of Toshko Todorov in Greece, separate documents proving that he was at work. during this period and did not use leave or sick leave.

Mashora is afraid of being extradited because

will have to

lies long

time in prison in

Greece, even

not to be


since the start of the case is scheduled for May 10, 2023.

Meanwhile, he is preparing to mortgage his house to take out a loan and pay lawyers. “My wife and I work for BGN 600 each. Where does the money come from,” says Todorov.

He is represented in Bulgaria by lawyer Gancho Ganchev, but Todorov has also hired a Greek defender in the person of Iliana Vlasakidou. She is Bulgarian, married to a Greek, has experience in such cases.

A petition, signed by more than 1,000 people so far, is being collected in support of Toshko Todorov. People from all over the region came to support him during the remand hearings. They chanted “Innocent” and greeted and sent off Todorov with applause. There will be another protest against his extradition before the court hearing on Thursday.

Lawyer Gancho Ganchev: This is a scheme under which other Bulgarians are burning

Mashora is not the only one of our compatriots accused of trafficking in migrants, to whom the news came like thunder from a clear sky.

According to his lawyer Gancho Ganchev, this is a scheme – cars are bought to transport refugees, the car is not registered in the name of the new owner and if the police intervene, the previous owner, whose name appears on the coupon, is guilty.

“This is a scheme in which, unfortunately, each of us can be a victim. No one can force the buyer of a car to register it in time. Yes, he is subject to a sanction, but no one can force him, ”Ganchev explains.

There is a group of Bulgarian defendants on Facebook for human trafficking in Greece, who consider themselves innocent. In it, relatives of people like Mashora describe their experiences, share experiences and give each other courage.



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