Former Head of state-owned arms supplier: Bulgaria exported weapons worth 200 million to Ukraine via intermediaries
Weapons worth 200 million were exported via Romania to Poland with Ukraine as the final destination, former head of state-owned military equipment supplier “Kintex”, Alexander Mihailov, told the media on June 8. He specified that it was about shells for the “Grad” volley fire systems.
He claimed that the main route of arms to Ukraine is through intermediary companies in Poland.
Mihailov said that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of finance, Assen Vassilev, is aware of the customs bills of lading for the exports and even quoted their numbers.
According to him, the reason for the recent change of management of arms manufacturer VMZ Sopot is that they refused to repair a returned arms order agreed by the Prime Minister.
"The reasons for my dismissal as head of “Kintex” and the dismissal of the management of VMZ Sopot are very similar. When contracts for tens and hundreds of millions start coming in, management changes and people are slandered with false allegations. Perhaps the aim is to put new, obedient people in place and to stop the agreement that Bulgarian arms continue to go to Ukraine through intermediaries in Poland. Assen Vassilev can provide records from the customs about arms - customs code 93 – showing for how much money the goods were exported. The main part of this 200 million is 122 millimetre rocket projectiles for BM21 - "Grad"," Mihailov said.
Shortly before that, the Ministry of Economy said that Mikhailov had been dismissed because he had been managing the company in violation of its statutes and commercial laws. There is no clarity about contracts worth 42 million.
"Mr Mikhailov was managing the company single-handedly. He did not comply with the rules, either of the statutes, of "Kintex", of the management contract, or the rules of the board, such as those for not informing the management of the parent company "State Consolidation Company" (SCC) about the contracts. In connection with the untruths put forward publicly by Mr Mihailov that he had concluded a very lucrative contract for Kintex for EUR 42 million for the export of special products. No such contract has been found in the company. The profit for the first quarter of this year is about 17 times less than the profit for the first quarter of last year," said Smilyana Mitova, the executive director of the SCC.
The SCC also explained the reasons for the change of management at VMZ Sopot. One of them is that the company has not paid dividends since 2017 worth BGN 54 million.
On the occasion of today's protest of the workers of VMZ Sopot, the SCC assured that the Minister of Economy Kornelia Ninova has promised to increase wages and the promise will be kept.
On Aril 18, 2022, Bulgaria’s Economy and Industry Minister, Korneliya Ninova, ordered a replacement of the Board of Directors of state-owned military equipment supplier “Kintex” EAD.
The move came after a check in the operation of the company by the Inspectorate of the Ministery of Economy, which found irregularities and a manifest conflict of interest involving Executive Director Alexander Mihailov.
Later on the day, Mihailov issued a position to the media arguing that he had never been and was not in a conflict of interest. He insisted that the Inspectorate's report be made public and blamed business interests for his dismissal.
Earlier, today, in a briefing to the media, the management of the State Consolidation Company (the parent company of “Kintex”) said it referred the findings of abuse by the former head of” Kintex” Alexander Mihailov to the Prosecutor’s Office.
An audit at the state-owned company found that first-quarter profit was 17 times lower than the same period last year. A €42 million contract is also missing.