Bulgaria: 8 Charged in Mother-Son Contract Killer Ring Bust
Prosecutors in Sofia have charged eight alleged members of an organized crime group with arson, attempted murder, firearms possession and drug offences. They face trial in Bulgaria’s anti-mafia court.
Six of those charged were arrested on Jan. 14 after 200 police raided 11 addresses; two are still at large.
On Jan. 17, Bulgaria’s Specialized Criminal Court ordered five of the six suspects to be held pending trial, including Mila Georgieva, whom prosecutors have identified as the group’s ringleader; Mihail Georgiev, Georgi Bozhilov, Miroslav Stoyanov, and Maksim Kulishev.
Also charged is Angel Angelov, for whom the court ordered house arrest.
One of the two suspects still sought by authorities was named by news agency Novinite as Georgieva’s son, Martin Georgiev.
The group is charged with three attempted contract killings, as well as arson, drug acquisition, production and distribution, illegal use of firearms and explosives, and the formation and leadership of an organized crime group.
Bulgarian National Radio reports that one of the targets of an alleged attempted murder by the group was Georgi Semerdzhiev, 45, who was attacked in June 2014. According to the prosecutor’s office, investigations into the group began the same month.
The Bulgarian Specialized Criminal Court was established in October 2011 to try cases related to mafia groups, corruption and organized crime. It completed its first case in February 2012.
The Ministry of Interior’s report on the charges was released on Jan. 15, the same day that US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Bulgaria. In a joint address with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Kerry pledged to strengthen relations between the two countries, and appealed to Borissov to rein in corruption and combat international organized crime.