What Happened to the Arabadzhiev Case and the Related to it Hotel "Marinela" in Sofia?

At the beginning of September, the prosecution announced that a European arrest warrant was issued to the businessman Vetko Arabadzhiev and his wife, Marinela, in connection with an organized crime group for tax fraud. BGN 10 million were found in offices and apartments. In addition, six luxury cars owned by the family were seized.

Later the Special Prosecution announced that three new suspects with BGN 500,000 in cash were detained, related to the case of the family of Vetko and Marinela Arabadzhiev, their son Valcho and the accountants Rumelia Kirilova and Elena Karayaneva. The court then released, and a little later returned back Arabadjiev's son, Valcho, as well as the two accountants, to the detention facility. Magistrates have accepted that sufficient data has been gathered to suppose that the three have done what they are accused of.

On September 27, tax inspectors closed for a week “Marinela” Hotel in Sofia, owned by businessman Vetko Arabadzhiev. The stay of the guests who had already been accommodated at the hotel was not disturbed but no new ones were accepted.

In a defense, the hotel spread a position, according to which the sanction was imposed because of an inspection carried out on September 4, which has established a missing certificate for registration of Integrated Automated Trading Management System. The hotel explained that this is due to the lack of a registration of another company they work with, and the necessary documents have been filed on 17 September. From “Hospitality & Retail Systems” (HRS), the company, which was accused indirectly, called the situation a misunderstanding as they have the required certificate from the NRA and work with over 1,000 clients in Bulgaria, some of which are major international hotels and catering establishments.

The tax authorities found more problems at “Marinela” Hotel and in the evening the reception and lobby bar were covered with stickers of the National Revenue Agency. The hotel will challenge the claim for large sums found during the check, saying they are cash at less than BGN 1,000, with which they start the working day. The same day, the Specialized Criminal Court seized all bank accounts, shares, and properties of the Arabadzhiev family.

Today, the court has canceled the order of the tax inspectors. The decision is not final and may be appealed within seven days in front of the Supreme Administrative Court. Vetko and Marinella Arabadzhiev are being searched with European arrest warrant, but are not yet detained.

Hotel Marinella is the largest among the five-star hotels in Sofia with 440 rooms and suites. It was bought by the “Victoria Group Holding” in 2015. The family has owned the hotel for almost three years, the site was chosen by the state as the hotel for the official guests of the European Parliament, and however, just now the NRA has noticed a problem.

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Petya Petrova

Petya Petrova is a journalist, believer, and traveler.

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