Bulgarian arms dealer defrauded intermediaries by $2 million

Търговец на оръжие

Surprising stories have been told about the exploits of the Bulgarian business around the world. Not since yesterday or the day before, but for 25-30 years.

For example – a Bulgarian decided to put bogus money into circulation through cash dispenser. He made his debut in a West German metro as he tucked almost a perfect copy of 500 German marks into the slot and in a second the machine spitted out… about 300 condoms. The other two hundred had already been bought and the machine "beeped" to be reloaded. Instead of a company man, however, two cops approached…


Another example. A Bulgarian decided to lie to some Greeks that he would do business with them. They ate and drank and drew schemes together until they finally decided to get into the shoe-business. It was agreed that the Bulgarian would pay 100% of the money and would receive 100% of the shoes. It was OK at the beginning but at some point our guy decided to screw up his playmates. For this purpose he played a poignant scene claiming that competitors, helped by the state authorities had counter-played, so he asked for a truck and for a 30% payment of its value.

The Greeks took the bait and as soon as the precious truck crossed the border, the Bulgarian immediately closed the office and stopped picking up his phones. A few days later when the goods passed through customs (formally and on documents, of course) and the truck was safely stored in an unknown warehouse, the ugly and creepy truth popped up:

there were 15-16 tons of left shoes in the truck.

Low-quality fakes that used to cost a dollar per 10 pairs.


A third example. This time the scam has an agrarian flavor. Our guys made a deal with some Greek neighbors for two trucks full of lambs and three trucks full of sheep. To make a few dollars more, they kept the "cattle" mostly on salt and water for nearly a week – while the poor animals put on weight and swelled.

On the appointed day and time the caravan passed through the "Kulata" border checkpoint and was parked on no-man's land in order to allegedly settle a few newly arising  minor problems. The intermediary took the documents, went to the Greek customs officers and… was lost and gone to ground. He was calling the most senior among the drivers periodically informing him that he was coming back right in a minute. This stalled on for about 8 hours just in the middle of the summer.


Well, the poor creatures couldn’t stand it anymore and opened

pitiful bleating, hard peeing and shock weight loss.

We can only imagine what the five "sheep" trucks looked like in the middle of the glowing asphalt parking lot between "Kulata" and "Promakhon" and what poured out of them. The justice prevailed at about eight-thirty in the evening when the trucks passed into Greece and the buyers of the goods “saved” money out of nearly 5 tons of wastage …


Fortunately, these stories date back from the beginning of the transition period, more precisely – from the 90s of the last century, when the foundations of modern Bulgarian capitalism were laid and the most important thing was to make your first million. It didn’t matter how – the important thing was to do it and live on to multiply it or just spend it.


The last stipulation is very important because after the criminal groups strengthened the elementary deceptions ceased abruptly. It is understandable why – the fraudsters began to pay the police and the prosecutor's office and the deceived – the "wrestlers" and the "karate guys". And because the so-called public authorities were kept in a state of waking coma by the political elite, the real handing out of retribution fell in the hands of the criminal groups. With all the ensuing consequences, of course.


After Bulgaria's accession to the European Union (January 1, 2007), the picture changed dramatically. The mentality of the "double" players – too. The smarter veterans quietly and meekly hid into the background, some of the greedier ones were put out of business through ostentatious arrests and noisy trials and the greediest – were "ensured" to enjoy prison beds abroad.


The main character in today's story –

Kostadin P. Sinapov – is an odd duck.

Or he is rather a peculiar cross (a mongrel – as it was, a hybrid – in its newest) between the men of transition, for whom the sea is always knee-deep and today's "happy dudes", who – whatever they do – get always away unscathed.


On one hand Kostadin P. Sinapov is the successor (in the literal sense of the word) of Peter Sinapov – one of the most infamous arms dealers since November 10, 1989. He was never convicted in Bulgaria, although his name surfaced in every major scandal related to the illegal import, export and re-export of goods with possible dual use.


On the other hand, K. Sinapov entered his father's business late – in 2016, but with a flying start: for four years his company Hartford International Group declared revenues of BGN 69.897 million and he personally collected… net profit of BGN 10.785 million.


It is allegedly unknown for what reasons and after five years of normal and profitable presence in this delicate business, at the beginning of this year K. Sinapov suddenly decided to make a radical turn and started applying the familiar scheme: "You’ll do my job right away and I will pay you when I want to!"

The subject and the price of the deal are not a secret: 31 Red Arrow missile launchers and 1,068 warhead missiles, totaling $15 million. At the end of 2020, the goods were delivered and the money was paid. That is, the military in Colombo and Abu Dhabi have no claims, and the other participants along the route…well, they should deal with it their own way.


And they did it their way: K. Sinapov and his traditional client in the Persian Gulf settled their relationships immediately. While Sinapov Jr's other key contractor, Colombo, Sri Lanka-based intermediary “Atlas Integra Solutions”, is about to be screwed up.


Or at least that is what has happened so far – almost eight months after the expiry of the two deadlines fixed in the contract and the annex to it, signed by Kostadin P. Sinapov (Hartford International Group) and Chaminda Rajapakse (Atlas Integra Solutions). We briefly summarize the contents of the correspondence between Colombo and Sofia because it hardly makes sense to go into tearful and angry details.


The " big " contract for the supply of missiles and projectiles was signed on June 14, 2020.


A few months later, on 25 October 2020, he entered into a contract with “Atlas Integra Solutions”, according to which the Sri Lanka agent was to carry out the following activities: secure Hartford's permission to legally export the "goods" from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense, secure the assistance of all local authorities (tax, customs, etc.) and find suitable transport to the final destination.


All this was fulfilled by “Atlas Integra Solutions” personnel and on 10 December 2020 the ship with the launchers and missiles left Sri Lankan territorial waters.


As agreed between the Sofia Seller and the Colombo Agent,

the agreed commission is fixed at USD 2 million,

payable as follows: $400,000 by 19 January, $1.6 million by 19 February 2021.


Quite naturally, for now, Kostadin P. Sinapov has saved both payments to his Sri Lankan partners. Neither the polite invitations to perform his obligations nor the restrained threats of lawsuits could touch him. We quote the final "chord" of the last warning letter, sent by Kolobmo to Sofia on 23 August 2021:


"… We demand the immediate fulfillment of your company's obligations under the aforementioned contracts. Please note that failure to comply with this request will result in a formal complaint before the competent authorities of the United Arab Emirates as well as seeking protection of our interest by means of judicial proceedings for the collection of our fees. In addition, non-payment could result in your company being blacklisted by all the other countries we provide services to…"

The comment, as said on other occasions, is needless. At least for now…


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