Vanyo Kostin, the mayor of Chuprene municipality is accused by the Prosecutor’s Office of 10 sales of municipal land to his relatives under a mock auction. This was announced on a briefing of the Prosecutor’s Office. The scandalous deals were a part of “Kanal 3” program – “Investigation with Vasil Ivanov”.
It is already well-known that he sold more than 200 decares municipal land to his wife, his father and other relatives at a price close to the tax assessment. The lands are expected to be part of the Midjur ski resort, which is to be built.
The mayor of Chuprene is convicted of an offence concerning his professional conduct under article 282 of the Criminal code. He is a defendant for 10 different acts conducted at 10 auctions of municipal land. In the course of the investigation in the last 4 years (2014-2018) the mayor auctioned several public contracts where he made several infringements. The accusations concern 10 auctions for 236 decares municipal land. In all the cases, the buyers were the same 4 companies, represented by his father, ex-wife, current wife, brother and other relatives. There was no public notice on the municipality website or any daily paper as it is required. Deadlines for the offers weren’t kept”, said Angel Kunev, the prosecutor working on this case.
He explained that during the investigation there was more information for other auctions of the same kind, but the details are still being clarified.
“The rummage collected evidence for 9 more public auctions where it is obvious that the same person bought the land. These cases are put under examination. The same person has immediately sold the land. He/she probably has had investment intentions towards Midjur ski resort, announced the prosecutor and continued – all procedures and documents concerning the ski area are prepared by the municipality.
Not only the mayor, but also his wife was arrested – however, she is possible going to be set free.
"The only accused person is the mayor. We are going to request a supervision measure – detention due to public safety”, announced Angel Kunev and explained that most of the witnesses are employees of the municipality and are afraid of losing their jobs.
The prosecutor continued – the criminal proceedings for a different case started last year when a citizen made a complaint of the mayor concerning a property of hers. During the proceeding he announced on the municipality website that the regulations for the auctions hadn’t been followed.
It turned out that one of the companies is actually owned by Vanyo Kostin.
“The mayor hasn’t come out with a declaration that he owned one of companies buying municipal lands. He persuaded his ex-wife to declare she is the owner. Later the company was transferred to his father. There are undoubtful proves that his trade activity isn’t allowed by the law”, said the prosecutor.
He added that the municipal lands are sold at extremely low prices – less than 100 leva/decare.
According to the prosecutor there were no appeals against the auctions won by people close to the mayor. However, NGO-s lodged appeals against against the project for Midjur ski resort but didn’t reach the court and the project was approved.