Mafia bosses from all over the world have split up the Old World, came the surprising news report from the Sunday Times on March 29th . The meeting of the bosses, according the publication of Interpol, took place in 1994 in the town of Bonnat. God Fathers from the Italian , Russian, Columbian, Chinese and Japanese underworld took part in the Mafia summit. The came to an agreement for co-operation. The agreed to avoide bloodshed and divide territories. Vyacheslav Ivankov - Yaponchik represented Russia at the meeting ; months later he was arrested in the USA and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for racket. The Sunday Times claims Mafia Godfathers had two more meetings . Interpol claims the international Mafia has profits amounting to 500 thousand million US dollars. Following the division of Europe the growth of criminal profit is expected to grow even further.


Evgeni Kolev

The soft Spanish night is falling over a residential quarter. A white BMW stops in front of an elegant Victorian building . The man inside is wearing an exquisite suit, his tie is negligently loosened. His face displays the light disdain of one, just having left a boring social function. An unlit cigarette hangs from his mouth. A gold watch shines on his wrist. A thin gold ring on his right hand. He points the remote control to the sliding door of the garage.
The quiet of the night is torn by automatic gunfire. Ugly black holes appear on the door of the white BMW. Bits of glass fall on the asphalt. The man slopes unnaturally under the rain of bullets. The shots muffle a short cry.
Suddenly silence reigns again. Two men quietly reach the car. The windscreen is spluttered with blood. The elegant man is no longer so confident. His evening suit is torn by the bullets and the gold watch is no longer shining so arrogantly.
One of the men opens the door of the car as if nothing has happened. With an expert movement of the hand he pulls out the body and throws it down on the ground, takes out a gun, puts it to the man's head and shoots.
Half an hour later the police are here, all over the place with their searchlights and projectors. Sireens of cars, coming and going strain the air with their drone. The wind is blowing the yellow band with the words POLICE to and fro.
The corpse has already been taken to the morgue. A Police Inspector is giving a muddled statement before numerous cameras and microphones. The victim was murdered, the intent was robbery, he says.
The policemen does not believe his own words.
Despite the bloody scene, an observant reporter has noticed the glitter on the wrist of the victim. "Thieves wouldn't miss that" , it passes through his mind, aware of a sensation. He can see the headlines in large print " New Vendetta of the Mafia", or " Terrorist Act Shatters a Small Town" , and his name after it. Could it be the Sicilian Mafia? Or ETA ...
At the same time the coroner is preparing his grisly tools and cannot make out the strange tatoo on the corpse - a four domed church, surrounded by barb-wire. And three letters , ΡέΠ, in the Cyrillic alphabet. Many a corpse has the coroner seen in his lifetime, and many tattoos. However this one is unusual...
He cannot imagine that the mysterious drawing was done long ago, thousands of kilometers away from the quiet town in Spain. Neither would it have entered the victim's mind that he would bear the name, written in his passport, and of course, the name entered in the police protocol. The man's only dream was a white BMW, a fine suit, gold and money. A lot of it.
In a freezing Siberian night, after 15 hours hard work in a quarry was he worthy of the tattoo in the smoke filled shack in the Soviet Labour camp, the tattoo that had amazed the Spanish coroner. One would be eligible for such a tattoo only after spending 5 years in Soviet labour camps. Each dome stood for one prison term of hard labour in the quarry. It stood for the long nights of gambling , when the stake was someone's life. And the great three initials ΡέΠ, gradually disappearing amidst the purple spots creeping over the corpse were the deceased man's credo. In Russian it stands for Svoboda eta rai, (Freedom is Paradise).

The Invasion of the "New Europeans"

A Slav language is frequently spoken along the Costa del Sol, the Spanish Riviera. Those that speak it are not the timid, badly dressed tourists from Eastern Europe, who could barely jump the Iron curtain ten years ago, in order to see the paradise in the West, and saved up their money for a small souvenir to take home.
Neither are they the hungry, miserable East European Gastarbeiters , who sought their fortune in this paradise, after the fall of the wall. They are the proud, self confident, ambitious , elegant and affluent people who drive expensive cars, buy their clothes from leading dress designers. The hands and strong necks are covered with gold. They are accompanied by at least one bodyguard, and go about with suitcases full of hard currency. They invest, they are active on the stock-exchange, invest millions in works of art. And always pay in cash. Their beautiful wives or lovers do not work. All they do is spend their husband's money. Their children study at prestigious colleges. They are Russians, Poles, Bulgarians, Albanians, Serbs. One comes across Chechens, Georgians , Armenians. The law in the West is powerless before them. Probably they are more dangerous than the one time threat from Communism.
These people have turned their backs to their past. It is the past of petty criminals, Communist Party aparatchiks, agents of the Security Services. They began on a small scale - selling stolen goods - antiques, strategic raw materials, secrets; today they trade in shares and oil. Their dirty money has been laundered. Today their business is quite legal. Others prefer reliable sources of money - the trafficking of drugs, people, contraband of arms, stolen cars, prostitution, racket, gambling.
A comparison with the good old Italian Mafia makes the Italians Mafia look like a group of scouts on an outing . The "NewEuropeans" recognizes no limits. "New Europeans" respect no "Gentlemen's agreements", have no families, have no dons. They only serve whoever pays best. They are mercenaries, working for any master, sometimes serving two masters at the same time. If need be, they are ready to kill, without any hesitation, brutally. Their position was won with sweat and blood - they never let off. And often they get killed. Shot by rivals, by friends. There are no friends in this business.

The Kidnapping of Old Europe

While in Brussels and Strassburg officials of the European Union are still debating which of the former Socialist countries should accede in the European Union, who should wait for the second wave and whether a grey wave should be established , the criminal world long ago began the process of underground Euro integration.
It is a process, provoked by interests in the enormous markets of the East - markets awaiting drugs, expensive stolen cars, contraband goods. Markets for cheap prostitutes. Markets attracting an unpretentious yet well trained work force of the former socialist countries; servicemen who had been through the hell of Afghanistan, corrupt officers of the Secret services of the Communist regimes, simply mercenaries. Former Communist Party officials, minor officials had succeeded in setting aside enough money in time. All of them desperate to find where to invest.
While official Europe feared the work force of Eastern Europe, underground Europe applauded. It applauded the other work force.
The Police Forces of the Old continent were at a loss what to do with the wave of Mafia members at all levels. Clearly visa barriers are valid only for poor students from Eastern Europe, young specialists or simply tourists. For criminals recognize no barriers.

Bulgarians also gave their Contribution.

Bulgaria also got into this Europe. Bulgarian specialists in luxury cars were the first to come. In other words they were car thieves. Their system was perfect. True, in the beginning these Bulgarian had their squabbles for territories. However later, like real businessmen , following the example of real gangs of swindlers and confidence tricksters, Bulgarian clans divided their territories in Europe . In the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy. Spain and Germany were declared free territories.
Columns of Mercedes, BMWs Audis and Fiats began going East. The operation ranged from ordinary theft to arangements with the owner of the "stolen" car. In the second case, considered safer and more civilized, the owner would be paid some cash on the spot, and the car dealer would continue with the luxury limousine. A week later the car would be declared missing. The dealer would sell the limousine at an enormous profit somewhere in the wild East. The European, whose car was "stolen" would be compensated by the insurance.
Bulgarian thieves invented a new technique of car theft in Europe. A certain car would be burgled at night. Whatever can be dismantled, would be taken off - tires, headlights, windscreens, seats etc . And while the owner would be wondering what to do with his burgled car , the thief would come and offer to buy the useless wreck for an agreeable price. Once sold the clever thief would put the car together and take it back home.
A highly organized system for the registration of stolen car registration exists in Bulgaria. The turnover is enormous, thus is possible to obtain documents, invoices, are provided, customs officials and police bought off. .
We are world famous. "The list of wanted criminals in South Africa also includes the Bulgarian Ivan Pramatarov and Ilian Petkov", reports the Citizen in Johanesbourg. They were the ringleaders of a Bulgarian gang specializing in the theft of luxury cars. The preferred make was Nisan. Caught by the Police , the investigation established theft of cars to the value of 1,5 million rand. The gang of 11 Bulgarians, aged between 18 and 32, was arrested as well. The Police found 14 cars, spares, diamonds and forged documents.
And one fine morning in South Africa, two smiling young men approached the iron gates of the High Security Prison in Johannesburg presented their Police passes and explained that they were escorting some prisoner for questioning. The guards opened the gates and let them out. Out of the gates the two "cops" Pramatarov and Petkov sent a fine blessing in Bulgarian and disappeared.

Anything that could be sold

Elena Gurcheva , 20 , gave birth to a little girl in the Rhea Clinic , on September 22nd 1995. The child was good looking and healthy. Dr. Katratsotis, the owner of the clinic took special care for the mother and her infant daughter. With good reason. Soon after the birth of the child, the doctor and the mother were arrested by the Police while negotiating the sale of the infant for a million Drachmae. Papers of another four cases of illegal adoption of Bulgarian new-born infants were also found. This euphemism was used to cover the trade with children. Twenty Bulgarians were found to have been involved in this business. The Greek authorities extradited 14 of them, nevertheless the Police believe their number is higher.
As a rule above all mothers take part in the sale of new-born infants (most often of Roma origin or Turkish origin), the doctor of one of the numerous private clinics in Greece and a third woman with experience with the Greek immigration authorities, helped by a good attorney. The clinic bears the expenses of child delivery. The several million drachmae , paid to the woman is even increased if a white boy is born.
Prostitution in Western Europe is controlled by East European financial groups. The new European routes of paid love are Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria. Bulgarian can be heard wherever prostitutes assemble. Professionally, it is different for different girls; they range from high-class call girls to prostitutes along the motorways. There are those who chose the most ancient profession and those who were kidnapped and forced into prostitution. And then they return home, with some saved money , or ... in a lead coffin.
A high-class call-girl fetches up to 8,000 USD. The preferred age is 18-20 18-20 and recently the age has been falling below 16.
In 1997 Bulgarian Anti-Mafia experts arrested the pimps Stanislav Zlatanski, 21, and Angel Georgiev, 25 .
S.H., 25, returned home in Plovdiv. She thought the Berlin nightmare had passed and she could begin to live a new life. Only a month had passed since her escape from a flat in Berlin. No longer could she endure daily seances with 7-8 clients a day , with no rest. And now Stanislav and Angel called their at his flat in the Old Quarter of Plovdiv. She was shown photographs from the Berlin period, with her clients, and in nasty postures. In the hard-porno she was shown she was the star. If she refused to work for them again or did not pay them 1500 DM the films would be shown to her family. Just then the flat was raided by hooded men in camouflages and guns. The blackmailer pimps were ordered to lie on the ground and were handcuffed. The Prosecutor's Office has began an investigation of the case for instigation towards prostitution and for blackmail.
The case is still being investigated.
The Police broke up 11 brothels, arrested 50 prostitutes and 20 pimps along the Czech-German border in October 1997. Bulgarian Anti-Mafia Specialists also took part in the largest operation against prostitution in the Czech Republic.

Metal Detectors and Old Brussels Lace

The last piece of the vessel was placed in position. The man looked at the vessel. Now one could clearly see the image of Nike, driving a quadriga. The only one that was awaited the go-betweens. The agreed price was 50,000 USD. Some foreigner was interested in the vase. "Fifty thousand just for a simple pot? Quite a hit" passes through his mind.
He immediately answers the door . There are several men at the door, who identify themselves as police. And the dream of the heap of dollars vanishes. The man admits he had bought the antique for several thousand marks. He did not know it was stolen and of course presented it to the state. This was the end of the long story of the unique black-figured crater from the 6th c. B.C. stolen from the Lovech Museum on October 8th 1994. The vessel is considered among the finest discoveries in Bulgaria. After it was stolen , it passed through at least 15 people.
It did not leave Bulgaria only because of the stricter controls over antiques in museums in Western Europe, coin dealers, and collectors. Increasingly certificates of origin are required for antiques and stolen goods are not bought.
Bulgarian antiques are traded above all in Vienna, Munchen and Frankfurt. Collectors highly value coins, vessels, statuettes from necropolises, and icons. True, prices have fallen recently, nevertheless antiques are still in demand.
Treasure hunters, with the latest equipment, are active everywhere in Bulgaria. Whatever valuable is found is dug out and prepared for export. Archeological monuments, which cannot be sold, for instance foundations of buildings, mosaics, frescoes are destroyed by the treasure hunters in the haste . Often Bulgarian gangs carry out orders placed by foreign clients. Exceptional treasures leave Bulgaria in this way. Recently Anti-Mafia experts have been particularly successful in cutting the export of cultural and historical objects . Several antiques were shown and were saved by the National Service for the Prevention of Art Contraband have been returned to the National Museum of History.
The Special Services and the public are not aware of the export of "old Brussels lace" as well. At least 50 articlulated lorries , full of objects of ethnographic value - furniture, national constumes, vessels and other objects have been taken out of the country since 1993. Western collectors are ready to pay a minimum of 400 USD for an old charcoal iron, an original national costume can fetch up to 4000 USD.

To be continued

Gangsters are going about all over Europe unmolested. Bulgarians, Russians, Poles, Georgians. The buy and sell, they steal and kill. Their bosses collect the proceeds, and then invest. The old Mafia looks on these eastern cousins with respect. Competition is high, but there seems to be enough place for everyone. Whoever puts a spoke in the wheels is shot.
Bandits have outrun and left behind Euro-integration processes between Old and New Europe. Part of the integration, which has not been realized is the joint work of the Police services on the continent. And rivalry for leadership still blocks the institutionalization of Europol, while bandits are not waiting. They are improving their system. Politicians , businessmen, Government officials become part of their network. The old Mafia has a lot of experience in corrupting highly placed officials. Yet their eastern friends have proven worthy disciples. And when they overtake their teachers, the Mafia will conquer the continent.
Combined European crime is young and open minded. It has not yet grown up. European crime has "offices" all over Europe - from Moscow to London. However, positively one day, together with the official Euro capital Strassburg the old continent will also come up with its capital of crime. Bulgarians have their place in the chronicles of crime internationally. "Did you say Bulgarians? Didn't a Bulgarian shoot at the Pope, cut the Gioconda, and kidnapp Charlie Chaplin's body?" . Compatriots of ours maintain the reputation. Prostitution, trafficking of people, drugs, trade with antiques, forged dollars amd marks... Here and there there is the odd Bulgarian in the prison's of Europe. Bulgarians, with proven crimes, released by order of a Prosecutor from detention centres in Bulgaria. And before we set out to attack Europe legally, perhaps we should first pick up our criminals. We have to pick them up, so that there will be peace in the European village. Not just to see Bulgarian criminals caught around the world, and comment, "There, that's a real Police force , they got them.." . During a large scale operation the Police of Rheiland-Pfalz broke up a distribution network for forged money and passports, driving licences, credit cards, reported ITAR-TASS on March 29th this year. Among the 35 suspects the Police reported Bulgarians, Russians, and other East Europeans. Six hundred forged 100 DM banknotes were found in Southern Germany in the middle of 1997. Forgeries were introduced in Rheinland-Pfaltz illegally and from there spread to Spain, Norway, France, Spain, Russia and the Baltic republics. The Police refused to reveal the names of the detained Bulgarians.

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The list could be endless. A list of names, dates, facts. Unfortunately the Bulgarian trace in present day European crime goes on...