Properties for BGN 400,000 were confiscated from Selim from Sliven for money laundering

Simeon Simeonov (right) celebrates with friends.

Simeon Simeonov sent Roma to sell cigarettes in England, where they registered as unemployed and brought him millions

Investigators found a box of bundles in different currencies

Money, gold and other valuables worth over BGN 1 million were seized during the operation against the criminal group of Simeon Simeonov-Salim in Sliven, who is one of the big bosses of smuggling in Southeastern Bulgaria. This became clear from the statements of the prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Interior on Friday, when Salim and 5 other people were detained and charged with money laundering.

Salim has been involved in smuggling since the mid-1990s. In 2006 he was convicted of this crime, and in 2009 his property was confiscated for nearly BGN 400,000 in favor of the state, 24 Chasa has learned. However, Simeonov continued to engage in smuggling and money laundering, amass wealth and live affluently without any proven income.

The local structures of the CDCOC and SANS have been investigating Simeonov, members of his family and his relatives for several months, said Sliven District Prosecutor Veselin Gangalov and the city’s anti-mafia chief Slav Dobrev.

The main activity of Salim and his men was cigarette smuggling to Britain. There, the stacks are sold at triple the price. The drivers in the canal registered as socially weak on the Island and received benefits. The money together with the illegal sale of cigarettes was brought to Bulgaria and reported to Simeon Simeonov. With them he amassed property and bought expensive limousines.

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During the search of 12 addresses in Sliven, the investigators found boxes with bundles in different currencies, gold and jewelry. The gang’s torturer and two of his daughters were detained for 72 hours by a decree of the supervising prosecutor, three others have a “subscription” measure.

Simeon Simeonov has been known for his wealth for two decades. He has several children by two women. It is famous for its lavish weddings and celebrations, which it organizes on family holidays.

The 54-year-old man has no legitimate business in his name. Years ago he traded with his company Slavyanka EOOD, named after one of his daughters.

Friday’s arrest is not Simeonov’s first clash with the law. He was convicted of smuggling in 2006. At that time he admitted his guilt and was sentenced to probation only. The biggest blow to Salim comes from the commission for confiscation of illegal property, now KPKONPI. Due to the smuggling investigation 15 years ago, an investigation has been launched into his income. The lawsuit, which was filed in court, is for nearly BGN 800,000, which is the amount of property, cars and available funds of Simeonov and his family, for which he cannot prove origin. He then tried to justify his wealth with loans, as well as income from construction crews abroad in the early 1990s, but the trick didn’t work. In 2009, half of the lawsuit was finally confiscated from him. Then two of his apartments in Sliven, a car, a bus, as well as BGN 270,000 became state property.

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However, the punishment in the smuggling case and the confiscation of property did not affect Salim. He continued with the criminal business. According to the people in Sliven, for many years he enjoyed protection from the local authorities. Two of his daughters even worked in government agencies.

Following the accusations of money laundering, the procedure for checking his property will be activated again, because the prosecutor’s office will refer the matter to the anti-corruption commission again.

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