Bloomberg: Bulgarian gambling tycoon Bozhkov detained in UAE
Bulgarian businessman Vasil Bozhkov, who is the subject of a European arrest warrant, was detained in the United Arab Emirates, Bloomberg reported, citing BNR public radio in Sofia.
Officials in Sofia brought seven charges against him on Wednesday, including leading an organized crime group and attempted bribery, and issued the arrest warrant at the same time. Bozhkov had already left the country when prosecutors raised the charges and raided the offices of some of his companies.
“Until a court decision, none of the completely random charges against me is proven,” Bozhkov said Thursday in an emailed statement. He said he and his businesses have paid all necessary taxes and accused the authorities of illegally confiscating his property, including parts of his collection of more than 3,000 archaeological artifacts.
Considered one of the richest Bulgarians with multiple stakes in gambling and lottery companies, Bozhkov has accused authorities of trying to take over his business. Bulgaria is preparing to take control of lottery gaming, shutting out the current private operators in a bid to improve tax collection.
Bulgarian authorities are preparing an extradition request after they received official confirmation of the detention, BNR reported, citing Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev.
Source: FOCUS News Agency