Bulgaria commits to exposing illicit financial flows through lifting the veil of secrecy over who owns and controls companies. It already has made public its registry for companies registered under its own jurisdiction and supports internationally recognised measures that ensure accurate and timely information on foreign registered beneficial ownership is made available to all those who need it.
Status: no data
Themes: Beneficial ownership
Last updated: December 2020
Concrete: Somewhat Concrete | New: Not New | Ambitious: Somewhat Ambitious
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There is no publicly available evidence/data that the information on beneficial ownership is being used for exposing of illicit financial flows.
Updated: October 31, 2020
The Beneficial Ownership public register includes information provided by the companies and not verified, which risks to include incorrect and unreliable information. This register has proved to be an insufficient tool to expose the illicit financial flows. The commercial register (CR) records indicate the ownership of the companies and physical persons that are engaged in their control bodies. A recent case, however, revealed that there still are 'legal' mechanisms allowing control over a company without formally being among owners or among members of their control bodies. The case involves one of the most popular Bulgarian football clubs - Levski Sofia. In spring 2019 the ownership of the club has changed. While officially the single owner of the club was announced Georgi Popov (as also evident from the records in the CR), the media yet back then were confused who was the true owner, as another large businessman - Vasil Bozhkov announced his companies will finance the club by providing sponsorship (1). In early 2020 Vasil Bozhkov was charged with multiple allegations, but succeeded to leave the country. In the meantime, the parliament adopted amendments in the gambling legislation that practically banned the most successful Bozhkov's business - the National Lottery, which was the general sponsor of the football club (2). Since than, Levski FC has been experiencing huge financial issues (3). Almost all media reports covering the case referred to Vasil Bozhkov as the true owner (4,5).
Peer reviewer: 1
Updated: April 30, 2020
No change since spring 2019
Updated: October 30, 2019
Updated: May 30, 2019
In March 31st 2018, Bulgaria adopted a new AML statute that implements the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive. Part of the AML4D is the obligation to collect and file information on the ultimate beneficial owners of companies and other entities. The information will then be held and filed in a central register.
Updated: October 30, 2018
There is no publicly available information on specific planned or implemented activities towards introduction of internationally recognised measures on beneficial ownership disclosure.
Updated: June 30, 2018