The information denied 5 years ago by Ivan Geshev – then only the head of the special prosecutor’s office, that Bulgaria “arrested” over 200,000 bitcoins in 2017, appeared in the latest report of one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world – Kraken.
Without giving details, the report presents the five countries that, according to them, have the largest amounts of cryptocurrency, and the table shows that Bulgaria is in first place with control over exactly 213,519 bitcoins, which today amount to almost 10 billion dollars and represent over 1% of all possible “coins” in the world.
The report, entitled “Crypto Review 2021: Switching to the Mainstream”, is available on Kraken’s blog and provides a 126-page overview of the movement and value of cryptocurrency, its political and economic risks, and some predictions for its future.
What is this all about?
In 2017, an operation was conducted by the Bulgarian special services, supported by the international investigative organization SELEC, in the field of cybercrime committed by compromising the computer systems of the customs of SELEC member countries in order to avoid and save taxes. The information about the operation was then posted on the official website of the organization and it was in it that the statement could be found that during the operation “bitcoin wallets with a total value of 213,519 bitcoins were found in the cyberspace.”
This page is currently not available on the SELEC website but can be found in the organization’s archives. Data about this came yesterday from the investigative site BIRD.BG, which disseminated the information and which emphasize that although the old information was downloaded, in the changed message the amount is not accurate, and there is evidence of such confiscation.
In addition, information about the seizure has been reported on many cryptocurrency sites, such as the huge CoinDesk.
At the end of December of the same 2017, however, Ivan Geshev as head of the specialized court said that the investigation of the cyber-attack on Bulgarian Customs did not lead to the seizure of cryptocurrency for billions. He then said that during the investigation it became clear that the criminals installed a virus and manipulated customs data on trucks entering and leaving several checkpoints, drained VAT, and were paid for these crimes with bitcoins. For one truck – between 20 and 25,000 euros in cryptocurrency, Geshev said at the time. However, the bitcoin trade itself is not a crime, he continued.
“And you can buy the right devices, they’re a little expensive, they consume electricity, and you can dig, can’t you? So I don’t investigate people’s hobbies. If to some extent it turns out that what you’re saying has something to do with money laundering and so on, we will investigate,” Geshev said.
In November, the Bivol website requested official information under the Law on Access to Public Information from the Ministry of Interior about the possible confiscation – whether it is true, how the funds are managed and how they are stored. However, the Ministry of Interior refused to provide information, arguing that “the requested data constitute specific information from a criminal investigation – an investigation on the list of the Investigation Department of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office, which is leading the investigation.”
Thus, the topic faded to this day, when BIRD.BG showed the Kraken report. In the interest of truth, it should be noted that the footnotes of the stock exchange show their sources and are largely based on media publications and publicly available data, so it is not impossible if the information is still incorrect.
Club Z, however, asked the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Finance about the authenticity of the information. If and when the data is received, editors will publish it on the website.