The owner of the plot near the Swedish military base turned out to be a Russian spy

Russian businessman Stanislav Aleshchenko is wanted in Sweden on suspicion of espionage. He was fined 70 million euros for tax evasion. The man acquired a Bulgarian “golden passport” in the name of Stanislav Valentinovych Aleshchenko in 2017. The National Security Agency proposed to deprive Bulgarian citizenship of only one citizen of Russia with a “golden passport”.

Fifty-year-old Aleshchenko bought expensive real estate next to a secret military facility in Sweden, where the naval headquarters is located. From his house, there was direct visibility of the secret naval base of the Swedish army, where submarines are based.

His wife lived permanently in the Scandinavian country, and Aleshchenko himself claimed that he only visited her. But the Swedish tax authorities demanded detailed information from Switzerland about his accounts and movements on his credit cards. Thus, they established that Aleshchenko spends his money mainly in Sweden and is subject to taxation as a resident. A fine of almost 20 million euros was imposed on him.

What is known about the spy?

Stanislav Valentynovich Aleschenko, born in 1972, received a Bulgarian passport by Presidential Decree No. 135 dated 22.12.2017, and his case has the number 4532/2016. His name appears in the list of dozens of foreign citizens who received Bulgarian golden passports.

In the “Bulstat” register, the name Stanislav Aleshchenko is listed as the owner of real estate since 2014. As the address for correspondence, Stanislav Aleshchenko indicated… garage No. 8, which is located in Varna.

In the Property Register, no agreement was found in the name of Aleshchenko. This could mean that either the agreement on the purchase of the property was not reached, or the Russian’s deed was carefully hidden in the registry.

Moreover, Aleshchenko, it turns out, lived permanently in Sweden. This causes a question of whether his investments in Bulgaria are not a fraudulent scheme aimed exclusively at obtaining European citizenship.

Under pressure from the European Commission, Bulgaria had to change its law on “golden passports”. Thus, in March of last year, the possibility of obtaining a Bulgarian passport for purchased government securities worth more than 1 million levs or a deposit of more than this amount was excluded.

Along with the amendments to the law on citizenship, the deputies agreed that the State Agency “National Security” should conduct an examination of the existence of reasons for the cancellation of naturalization in all cases related to the acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship. It was necessary to do this within 6 months after the changes to the law came into force.

The National Security Agency of Bulgaria established data on the non-saving of investments and started the procedure of revoking the naturalization of five persons: 1 person with Egyptian citizenship, 1 person with Russian citizenship, and 3 persons with Chinese citizenship.

Thus, it is clear that the agency did not consider other factors as reasons for the deprivation of citizenship, but limited itself to a formal check of the presence of investments.

Because of this formal approach, prominent Russians close to the Kremlin regime will retain their Bulgarian citizenship after the agency finds nothing wrong with them. Among them is a deputy from Putin’s party, the deputy minister of the defense industry of Russia, the owner of a Russian oil company, three leading Russian bankers, and the general director of a structuring company in Russia.

Aleshchenko’s case requires special attention and it is important to understand whether he is the only Russian who will be deprived of his citizenship.

Earlier, the Swedish mass media established that Aleshchenko owns several companies in Russia, including one that sells special textiles to many state customers, including Russian prisons. Another company had business relations with Rosatom.

Loans under “golden passports”

In 2016, Bivol published a BNB report on the First Investment Bank, which describes the so-called citizenship loans. It becomes clear that without actually bringing money into Bulgaria, foreigners can take a loan from FIB, present it as an investment, and after five years return the loan, thus their citizenship costs only interest. It worked back in 2011, when the report was produced, and before that.

As of 12/31/2011, for 36 foreign individuals (during the previous inspection, it was for 6 foreign individuals), the bank issued certificates to the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria that these citizens have an amount of EUR 511,292 thousand in a personal deposit account in Full name AD The presence of these deposits, according to the inspection, is supported by loans granted to these persons by the bank. These loans have the same contractual parameters: the amount of 511,292 euros, 4% interest, for 5 years, with cash collateral in the amount of the loan amount and the same currency, the report says.

These loans are a standard product of the bank for lending to foreign clients. They are granted to foreign citizens for investing in Bulgarian government securities to apply for Bulgarian citizenship. According to the bank, it will tell about each of these foreigners

Сheckштп with the Federal Tax Service and received an answer that they are not involved in criminal schemes.

At the signal of Bivol, the KPCONPI and the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office began an investigation of these loans, which was discontinued in 2019. Prosecutor Gr. Hristova from SP did not see any crime in the scheme.

However, the European Commission does not think so. Following an investigation by the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium, a partnership between OCCRP and Transparency Without Borders. Under the title Bulgaria’s Golden Visas: Lost Benefits and the Banking Loophole, the report “Europe’s Gateway: Inside the Dark World of Golden Visas” was prepared and presented to European institutions in 2018. It deals with the case of citizenship credits PIB.

In June 2021, the United States imposed sanctions on Delyan Pejevski under the Global Magnitsky Act for significant corruption. As a concrete example, the citizenship settlement scheme was figured, in which his “lieutenant” Ilko Zhelyazkov, who was also sanctioned, was also involved.

In an attempt to clear the name of Peevsky, the DPS submitted a bill to ban “golden passports” and a report to the prosecutor’s office on abuses in the issuance of investment certificates. According to the movement, “the same money was circulating in the same bank” to prove the investment of foreigners with dubious biographies, probably related to foreign services.

So far, only participation in the citizenship scheme of the First Investment Bank is known. Her loyal client is deputy Delyan Peevsky, which became known from Pandora Files.

In the continuation of the scandal, the Minister of Justice, Nadiya Yordanova, told the mass media that there was an intermediary close to the DPS in the scheme with “golden passports”, after which the DPS denied it and asked the prosecutor’s office to question her.

The BRRD investigation established that lawyers from the office of Adv. Ivan Todorov, the owner of Ciela, is considered close to Delyan Peevsky. He denies his closeness with Peevsky and sees nothing wrong with the services of an intermediary for “golden passports”.

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