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Robert Maxwell - PROMIS - KGB - Mogilevich - Lukanov - Janchev

Re: Robert Maxwell - PROMIS - KGB - Mogilevich - Lukanov - Janchev
5 Sentenced to Lifetime Jail for Bulgarian Ex-PM Murder

All five suspects in the murder case of former Bulgarian Prime
Minister Andrei Lukanov were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The defense could appeal the verdict in 15 days before the
Court of Appeals.
[ . . . ]
One of the two Ukrainian suspects - Alexander Russov - was
the one who carried out the shooting on October 2, 1996,
court ruled. The other four were found guily on inciting Russov
to committing the crime.
[ . . . ]
BNN (10Nov03)

Radio Free Europe

Bulgarian newspapers on 24 January reported on
an article in The Guardian the previous day entitled
"King of Bulgaria," which deals with the connections
between late media tycoon Robert Maxwell and
former Bulgarian Communist leaders. The article,
based on the Maxwell biography "Foreign Body"
by Russell Davies, says Maxwell, former Bulgarian
Communist Dictator Todor Zhivkov, former Prime
Minister Andrey Lukanov, and former Communist
Party Politburo member Ognyan Doynov had
developed "perfect channels" to transfer some
$2 billion in foreign currency out of Bulgaria. Maxwell
reportedly helped the Communist leaders to launder
money, mainly through joint ventures set up in the
West with Bulgarian capital.

-- Stefan Krause


Since RFE’s article about Robert Maxwell money
laundering funds out of Bulgaria with the former prime
minister Andrei Lukanov, a trial in Bulgaria had begun
for the murder of prime minister Lukanov, killed in
1996. Three Bulgarians and two Ukrainians (Alexei
Kichatov and Alexander Rusov) were the defendants
for the murder of Lukanov. The Ukrainians were
allegedly the guns hired by the Bulgarians. The court
has found them guilty. One of the witnesses in the
trial, Iliya Pavlov, a billionaire mafia oligarch and the
president of the MG Corp, (MultiGroup), was shot dead
one day after he testified at the trial. (Pavlov's wife was
a financial contributor to Hillary Clinton's election

Lukanov had business dealings with Maxwell and the
Multigroup conglomerate as early as the 1980s. He
was a high-level communist party and government
official under the former dictator, Todor Zhivkov, and
became Bulgaria’s first post-communist prime minister
in 1989. He resigned in 1990 after anti-government
protests, and was widely known as one of the “gray
cardinals” of the Socialist Party, which won the 1994
elections. Andrei Lukanov was also a representative
of the giant energy Gazprom in Bulgaria through

A billionaire named Iliya Pavlov testifying at the
Lukanov murder trial, was shot dead on 7Mar03.
Pavlov was the president of the largest Bulgarian
industrial company, named MG Corporation. It was
recently renamed from Multigroup [aka Multi Group]
which was earlier linked to Robert Maxwell, Semion
Mogilevich, the KGB and the Solntsevo mafia. Pavlov
was ranked as the wealthiest person in Bulgaria and
the eighth richest in Eastern Europe. Just like in other
countries (e.g. Nordex in Austria), Multigroup was
involved in the scheme to loot the country after the
breakup of the USSR. The scheme involved the highest
levels of the Communist Party and the KGB/mafia with
help from Westerners. Robert Maxwell owned a money
laundering bank in Bulgaria. The BBC (8Mar03) reported
that: “Mr Lukanov, who masterminded the downfall of
Bulgaria's long-serving communist leader Todor Zhivkov
in 1989, was found shot in front of his Sofia home in
October 1996. At the time, Bulgarian media said Mr
Lukanov's death was a contract killing related to his
business activities.” In 1995, Ilya Pavlov replaced
Lukanov as head of TopEnergy (the joint venture with

Pavlov’s wife, Toni Chergelanova, was the daughter
of Chergelanov, the chief of the Bulgarian Intelligence
Service, according to the Nova Makedonija (2Nov95),
which also points out Multigroup’s links to the KGB
and mafia, as well as expansion into Macedonia and
[ ]

Lukanov was also deeply involved in the project
codenamed “Neva” (created by the KGB, the Bulgarian
State Security and involving Robert Maxwell).

In his working paper titled, “The Political Economy of
Corporate Governance Change in Bulgaria: Washington
Consensus, Primitive Accumulation of Capital, and
Catching-Up in the 1990”, Evgeni Peev writes that
Multigroup was one of the special interest groups that
captured control of Bulgaria. Other such groups
included “Tron”, “G-13” and “Orion”. He writes that
the government of Prime Minister Berov was known
as “Multigroup’s government.”

One infamous multi-million dollar scandal involved
the Orion group and Mikhail Chernoy.
[ ]
Chernoy’s ties to Deripaska, Kuchma, Bezeq, and the
Russian mafia, et. al. were pointed out earlier.
[ ]

Further information about the Multigroup, Tron and
Orion groups is provided by Robert D. Kaplan in his
article, “Hoods against Democrats”, in the Atlantic
Monthly (Dec98; p.32)

Robert Maxwell was born 65 miles south of Lviv in
Solotvyna (aka Slatinske Doly, Szlatina, Solotvino,
Aknazlaina) in 1923. By 1991, he was being called:
“The crook of the century” by Newsweek (16Dec91).
He became best known for the looting of employee
pension funds belonging to some 20,000 employees
at his Mirror Group companies in Britain.
[ ]

Maxwell visited Bulgaria often and even had a
school named after him in 1989, called the Robert
Maxwell International Management School in Sofia,
Bulgaria. The Jerusalem Post (“Maxwell Heads
East Europe Fund”; 2Oct90) reported that Maxwell
was the lead investor of a $250 million fund for
investing in Eastern Europe and the USSR,
including Bulgaria. The limited partnership was
called the Maxwell Central and East European

Further to the Russell Davies book about Maxwell,
published in 1995 and referred to by Stefan Krause
above, another Maxwell book was released last year
titled: “Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life
and Murder of a Media Mogul” (2002; Carroll & Graf
Publishers; ISBN: 0-78677-1078-0) written by Gordon
Thomas and Martin Dillon.

Gordon Thomas is a best-selling author who has
created television documentaries, written several
screenplays and written 43 books selling more than
45 million copies.

Martin Dillon is a foremost authority on global terrorism.
While writing this book, the co-author received death
threats at his New York home warning him to stop
writing the book. Also a hacker accessed his computer
in an attempt to destroy his research data. As a result,
the FBI has launched an investigation.

Robert Maxwell was the Labour Party’s Member of
Parliament. He moved in upper social and political
circles known to many that included many world leaders
such as Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, Francois
Mitterrand, Helmut Kohl, Mikhail Gorbachev, Vladimir
Kryuchkov, Todor Zhivkov, et. al. He was on friendly
enough terms that he used to call Thatcher and tell her
what the main story in his morning Daily Mirror was
going to be. Maxwell owned the global publishing
house Mirror Group of newspapers from which he
stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the employee
pension fund, leaving them high and dry long before
the Enron scandal broke.

The authors claim that Robert Maxwell was also a
superspy for Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad.
He died under suspicious circumstances in 1991.
Thomas and Dillon claim that Maxwell was
assassinated by the Mossad.

The Maxwell book has other themes. One is Robert
Maxwell’s global marketing of the PROMIS software
containing an Israeli-engineered backdoor with an
undetectable electronic Trojan horse. The controversial
PROMIS software was at the center of the “Inslaw
Affair”. Maxwell sold the software to many government
intelligence agencies and financial institutions allowing
the Mossad secret and untraceable access into sensitive
and very confidential files. For example, the authors
write that Mossad official Rafi Eitan used PROMIS to
uncover bank deposits made at Credit Suisse in
Switzerland by Israeli millionaires illegally while
circumventing Israeli financial controls. By threatening
their exposure, the Mossad made the millionaires an
unrefusable offer to make donations to Israel. No one
apparently refused the Mossad’s offer.

Another theme is the authors’ claim of the very little
known business connections that Robert Maxwell had
with the Russian Mafia (e.g. “Rising Sun” aka the
Solntsevo crime syndicate) as part of the Communist
Party/KGB’s master plan to loot assets out of the former
USSR and Eastern Europe into the West.

During the 1990s, while Harvard economists did the “talk”
about “shock therapy”, and the IMF and World Bank
did the “talk” about international investment into the former
USSR, the rich and powerful insiders of the Soviet elites,
along with their mafia oligarchs, were doing a different
“walk” of looting the state and moving capital out of the
country to offshore international banks around the world,
including the islands in the Caribbean (eg. Mikhail
Khodorkovsky's and Alexander Konanykhine's bank in
Antigua called the European Union Bank, or Pavlo
Lazarenko's and Peter Kirichenko's bank account at the
European Federal Credit Bank in Antigua) and Pacific known
as money laundering centers, and the main banking
centres of London and New York. With only a few billion
of dollars invested by foreigners into the former Soviet
Union, and estimates of up to $500 billion exited out of
the former Soviet Union, it is obvious which plan became
dominant. The flight capital was absorbed by Western
banks with a smile while U.S. policy not only turned a
blind eye to the rise of organized crime but warmly
welcomed oligarchs at White House fundraisers. The
Cox Report (19Sep00), titled: “Russia’s Road To
Corruption”, provides some details:

[ ]


[Cont'd from Part 1 ]

But the stage for such massive flight capital was
already set before the 1991 break-up of the Soviet
Union. The Thomas and Dillon book describes the
role played by Robert Maxwell in cahoots with KGB
bosses and mafia kingpins in arranging such looting
schemes originating in the Eastern Bloc before 1991,
during the 1980s under Gorbachev’s perestroika and
Yuri Andropov’s leadership.

For example, the authors describe Maxwell’s deal with
Bulgarian President Todor Zhivkov in the Neva Project,
created by Andrei Lukanov, a former member of
Bulgaria’s Central Committee (and future Prime Minister).
The deal was made between Maxwell and KGB boss
Vladimir Kryuchkov. They brought Zhivkov on side with
a bribe. Then Kryuchkov appointed Lukanov as the KGB’s
point man for both the project and as Maxwell’s handler.
To raise Lukanov’s authority to a higher level more
appropriate for such an important project, Kryuchkov
appointed Lukanov as an officer in the high ranking
Investigation Unit of Soviet Intelligence.

“Neva was designed to be the single largest
programme for the mass-scale theft of US technology”
operated by Darzhavna Sigurnost (Bulgarian intelligence
service) and brought to Bulgaria under diplomatic cover
where the technology would be re-engineered by
Maxwell’s companies and then resold to Eastern Bloc
countries including Russia and Ukraine. Profits would
be split among Maxwell, Lukanov and Ognian Doinov
(the vice-president of Bulgaria’s State Economic
Council). The funds would be money laundered to the
West through Maxwell’s Bulgarian Co-operative Bank.

To implement Neva, Maxwell created a bunch of
companies, such as Multiart (for producing stolen
technology for the metal industry), Balkan Films (for
providing stolen technology from Hollywood to the
Bulgarian film industry), Stanke Dimitrov (for software
to the pharmaceutical industry), Sophia Insurance
(computers for the office management sector), and
so on. The many companies provided cover for the
Mossad operatives to infiltrate the Eastern Bloc. The
companies eventually would be grouped under
Maxwell’s Multi-Group (Multigroup) and embraced by
the Russian and Bulgarian mafia.

According to the authors, Maxwell had some 400
private businesses, such as Degem Computers (used
as a cover by the Mossad), which sold software in the
Eastern Bloc, Central and South America. Maxwell
owned Tel Aviv-based Citex Corporation (whose Israeli
head was the son of Yitzhak Shamir). He had 30
percent of the Ma’ariv newspaper in Israel and a piece
of Moscow News in Russia. (Gorbachev sent Maxwell
an icon as a gift when he found out that Maxwell had
bought a stake in Moscow News). The Mossad used
Maxwell’s publications such as the Daily Mirror to
provide cover for both Mossad operatives posing
as journalists and to publish some disinformation
stories (e.g. about Mordecai Vanunu, who converted
from the Jewish to the Christian faith, and blew the
whistle as a technician at the Israeli Dimona nuclear
centre on Israel’s secret nuclear program of weapons
of mass destruction).

The authors’ claim of Maxwell being an Israeli spy
is not new. Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour M. Hersh
wrote the same a decade ago in “The Sampson
Option: Israel, America and the Bomb” triggering
a scandal in 1991 when two British members of
parliament read excerpts in the House of Commons
under parliamentary privilege. Hersh was sued for
linking Maxwell to the Mossad, but won his case
(see Washington Post; "Hersh Wins Apology from
British Papers").

The same claims about Maxwell being linked to Mossad
were made by the two "rogue" Mossad agents: Victor
Ostrovsky in “The Other Side of Deception: A Rogue
Agent Exposes The Mossad’s Secret Agenda” (1994;
ISBN 0-06-017635-0), and Ari Ben-Menashe in his
“Profits of War: The Sensational Story of the World-
Wide Arms Conspiracy” (1992; ISBN 1-86373-379-5).
The authors Thomas and Dillon interviewed both these
former Mossad agents as sources for their book. The
Maxwell book goes further than Hersh though and
alleges that Maxwell was assassinated by the Mossad
on board his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, for reasons
described in the book. This is a controversial, minority
view. (BTW, Maxwell bought the famous Lady Ghislaine
yacht from the brother of Adnan Khashoggi, the well-
known international arms dealer last reported by Sy Hersh
as meeting with "The Prince of Darkness", Straussian
neo-con Richard Perle).

And the authors’ claim that Robert Maxwell was looting
Bulgaria in cahoots with the Bulgarian secret service is
not new either. Patrick Brogan reported in the Glasgow
Herald (“Maxwell 'smuggled cash from Bulgaria’ ”;
20Jan92) on a New York Times article about Maxwell’s
embezzlement and smuggling scheme in 1987 with
the Bulgarian president, Todor Zhivkov, and Maxwell’s
private company called “Bimex”. He writes:

“ . . . that the Bulgarian secret service was heavily
involved in schemes to plunder the treasury and launder
money through foreign companies and banks. That is
where Robert Maxwell was allegedly involved.

The secret service was also engaged in illegal arms
sales, drug trafficking, and terrorism. A presidential
commission is investigating the allegations and a
senior officer in the secret service who was about to
be interrogated committed suicide last month.

He was implicated in the murder in London in 1978
of leading Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov, who was
jabbed with a poisoned umbrella.
[ . . . ]
Mr Lilov claims that hundreds of foreign companies
from Austria to Singapore were managed by the
Bulgarian secret service.”

Media reports praised Robert Maxwell for buying the
New York Daily News. However, George Garneau
reported in the Editor & Publisher (“Maxwell's money
laundry”; 19Mar94) that in a court of law, the U.S.
bankruptcy judge, Tina Brozman, found that Maxwell’s
reason for the purchase was for money laundering
purposes. Garneau quoted the judge’s ruling:

"The evidence here compels the conclusion that
Maxwell's interest, both in purchasing and operating
the Daily News, was to keep the newspaper alive
so that Maxwell Newspapers could function as a
money-laundering device," Brozman said in a
scathing 23-page decision riddled with references
to fraud, misappropriation of funds, deceit and
[ . . . ]
In one instance, she said, Maxwell used the Daily
News to secure a $78 million loan from Bankers
Trust but gave the tabloid only $8.45 million.

Another time, he negotiated to borrow $86 million
from Bankers Trust for MGN and "sent the funds
off on a great circular ride" through the Daily News
and back to Bankers Trust to repay another loan,
the decision said.


There are many other information sources for the book
including interviews the authors had with the following:
Maxwell’s widow Betty and daughter Isabel; John P.
O’Neill (FBI’s executive agent-in-charge); Yitzhak Rabin
(former Prime Minister of Israel); Ehud Barak (former
head of Israeli Military Intelligence and former Prime
Minister of Israel); William Casey and William Colby
(former CIA directors); Rafi Eitan (former Mossad
director of operations); David Kimche (former Mossad
assistant deputy director-general); Uri Saguy (former
head of Aman, Israeli military intelligence); and Richard
Tomlinson (former MI6 officer). Vladimir Kryuchkov
(former KGB chairman) was listed as one of the
secondary sources.

According to the authors, Maxwell’s Mossad handler
was Rafi Eitan, the same Mossad official who recruited
Jonathan Pollard to spy on the USA for Israel. The
Pollard recruitment was carried out through Aviem
Sella (the famous Israeli pilot who led the air attack
destroying Iraq’s nuclear reactor) and Yosef Yagur,
the science attache at the Israeli consulate in New

It was KGB boss Vladimir Kryuchkov who played a
significant role in the looting plan hatched before the
breakup of the USSR. He wanted to establish hundreds
of business enterprises in the West that would provide
cover for the KGB and Communist Party members to
transfer their assets abroad with the assistance of
organized crime, in a similar secret fashion to what
Maxwell was providing to Mossad “katsas”. In the latter
case, the authors say Maxwell met and colluded with
Russian Mafia bosses such as Simeon Yukovich
Mogilevich from the “Rising Sun” (aka Solntsevo) crime
syndicate. Other Maxwell contacts included Andrei
Lukanov and Ivo Janchev in Bulgaria where Maxwell
bought the Bulgarian Cooperative Bank and which had
allegedly laundered over $1 billion for the Solntsevo to
Switzerland, Gibraltar and Liechtenstein.

The KGB-led plan for looting the USSR and Eastern
Europe has been corroborated by others beyond the
Maxwell book, such as Richard L. Palmer, President of
Cachet International, a former U.S. army intelligence
officer, a former CIA operative specializing in money
laundering, and a former CIA Station Chief in the former
Soviet Union specializing in the investigation of Russian
organized crime. Palmer described the plan in his
testimony before the U.S. Congressional Committee
on Banking and Financial Services dealing with the
infiltration of the Western financial system by the Russian
Mafia. Palmer is also recognized by the U.S. Federal
Court as an expert witness on organized crime, official
corruption and the banking system in Russia. Palmer
described the earlier looting steps by the KGB and high
Communist Party officials that were formulated and
implemented (before the breakup of the USSR in
1991) in the second half of the1980s under Mikhail
Gorbachev’s “perestroika”. His testimony is available
at the following URL:

[ ]

Robert Maxwell and Semion Mogilevich were but two
players in such looting schemes. Other authors have
described similar players such as Grigori “Lucky
Loutchanno” Loutchansky and his Austrian-based
company, Nordex, and commodity trader Marc Rich
based in Switzerland. Author Paul Klebnikov wrote
that oligarch Boris Berezovsky, “Godfather of the
Kremlin”, learned from Marc Rich. Marc Rich was
pardoned by Bill Clinton for his crimes in USA, and
like Maxwell, also had links to the Mossad. Many
Israeli officials, some linked to the Mossad, sent
letters to Clinton supporting Marc Rich’s pardon.

The London Daily Telegraph reported that Robert
Maxwell’s son, Kevin Maxwell, worked for Grigori
Loutchansky’s Nordex as a consultant for several
years, trading in finance and construction in Russia
and its satellites. Grigori Loutchansky has been
banned from Britain by successive Home Secretaries.

In the article, “Russian Mafia Strikes Back in Bulgaria”,
[ ]
(Transitions Online; 11-17Sep00), Polia Tchakarova,
points out how Loutchansky/Pordeks, was funding
political parties in Bulgaria, and that Mikhail Chernoy
was expelled from Bulgaria. And RFE Turkmen
Service reported on the alleged bribe of $100 million
made by Loutchansky to Akezhan Kazhegeldin, the
prime minister of Kazakhstan.
[ ]

In his article about Loutchansky titled, “Sinned Against
or Sinning” (Jerusalem Post; 28Dec95), Tom Sawicki
reported that two Nordex employees were killed in
mafia-style street shootings in Moscow and Kyiv (a third
was wounded), and that the “Ukraine-based company,
Ukraintechservice, with which Nordex works closely,
is currently under investigation over several allegedly
shady deals.” Sawicki also wrote about Loutchansky’s
ties to the Russian Mafia, money laundering for the
KGB, involvement in the illicit trade in nuclear materials
and technology, and the Nordex plane that was stopped
in Kyiv while refueling and loaded with Scud missile
warheads en route from North Korea to Iraq. He also

“By 1994, Nordex's turnover had reached some $3 billion
and it had 40 subsidiaries and joint-venture firms in the
West, and some 100 such affiliates in the former Soviet
empire. It employs close to 8,000 people. Among the big
names associated with Nordex are Robert Maxwell's sons
Kevin and Ian in London, the daughter and son-in-law of
President Nursultan Nasarbayev of Kazakhstan, and
until recently former Israeli finance minister Yitzhak
[Cont'd in Part 3 ]


[Cont'd from Part 2]

Marc Rich and Grigori Loutchansky have been linked
to the Solntsevo (aka Solntsevskaya), as has Semion
“Brainy Don” Mogilevich. Thomas and Dillon describe
Mogilevich as the head of Solntsevo. Other authors have
suggested Sergei “Mikhas” Mikhailov as the head. In the
book, “The Russian Mafia: Private Protection in a
New Market Economy”, Professor Federico Varese has
provided some insight into the organizational structure of
Solntsevo which he describes as having roughly 9,000
members and being an umbrella organization for about
twelve crews. Solntsevo also has a supreme governing
council with twelve members who are leaders of the
crews. In any case, Varese confirms that Mogilevich,
Mikhailov, Viktor Averin, Vyacheslav Ivankov, Yurii Esin,
Sergei Timofeev, and Sergei Kruglov are/were leading
figures in Solntsevo. Timofeev and Kruglov have been
killed. Mikhailov and Averin also have Israeli passports.

In his book “Red Mafiya: How The Russian Mob Has
Invaded America” (2000), author Robert I. Friedman
devoted a full chapter to Mogilevich. The American
Journalism Review has given Friedman the epithet,
“The best investigative reporter you have never heard
of.” Friedman exposed Mogilevich in a Village Voice
article titled, “The Most Dangerous Mobster in the
World” which earned him a Russian Mafia hit contract
from Mogilevich of $100,000 on his head.

[ ]

Friedman also wrote the article, “The Money Plane”,
published in the New York magazine (22Jan96) describing
how the Republic National Bank based in New York
provided billions of U.S. dollars to the Russian Mafia-
controlled banks in Moscow. The money supply was
denominated in uncirculated new $100 bills wrapped
in their Federal Reserve wrappers, and flown weekly
aboard the “money plane”, a nonstop Delta Flight 30
leaving Gate 14 at John F. Kennedy International
Airport bound for the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
Republic National Bank was founded and owned by
Edmond Safra (ranked among the 200 world’s
wealthiest people in 1999) who was killed in his
Monaco penthouse by a male nurse and former U.S.
Green Beret, Ted Maher, convicted in Dec 2002.
Safra’s widow, Lily, is ranked as Britain's eighth
richest woman. The authors Thomas and Dillon claim
Safra managed funds for the Russian Mafia and that
Safra had links to Robert Maxwell.

The Solntsevo crime syndicate is perhaps the most
powerful in the world today. It has formed alliances with
the Sicilian mafia in Europe, the Cosa Nostra families in
New York, including Brighton Beach, the drug cartels in
South America, the Triads in Hong Kong, and the Yakuza
in Japan. Media reports claim it had significant influence
in the inner political circles of presidents Leonid Kravchuk
and Leonid Kuchma in Ukraine. For example, Vadim
Rabinovich was Kuchma’s adviser and a Nordex
representative in Ukraine (where Mogilevich was born).
In Russia, Solntsevo has been linked to oligarchs and
the “familia” members of Boris Yeltsin. For example,
TIME magazine linked Russian Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin to Nordex also.

[ ]

There have been many widely-publicized examples of
Western-based mob operations for money laundering the
loot from the former USSR:

Canadians might be interested to know that Semion
Mogilevich was one of the founders of YBM Magnex,
a huge money laundering front for the Solntsevo mafia
listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. After going
bankrupt and bilking investors of hundreds of millions
of dollars, YBM Magnex was the subject of investigative
hearings by the Ontario Securities Commission involving
such high profile YBM board directors as the former
Liberal premier of Ontario, David Peterson. Peterson
was found not guilty but YBM Magnex executives such
as Igor Fisherman were found guilty. The FBI now has
Mogilevich and Fisherman on their “Most Wanted” list.

[ ]
[ ]

Americans might be interested to know that Mogilevich
was a key player in the multi-billion dollar money
laundering scandal at the Bank of New York (BoNY),
still under criminal investigation. The BoNY scheme was
linked to Russian banks such as Bank Menatep and
Inkombank, whose billionaire owners are now some
of the richest so-called oligarchs in Russia. Mikhail
Khodorkovsky has been ranked as the richest person
in Russia. A role was played by the Geneva bank, Bank
of New York-Inter Maritime, controlled by Bruce (Baruch)
Rappaport, believed to be connected to American and
Israeli intelligence. Rappaport has been the subject of
congressional hearings and was earlier involved in the
BCCI banking scandal (Wall Street Journal, 28Feb01;
The Economist, 28Aug99). Rappaport got his diplomatic
immunity as the ambassador from Antigua to Russia.
In the 1980s, Rappaport was the largest shareholder
of Bank of New York. He was also linked to Charles
Keating (the infamous Savings & Loan bandit and part
of the "Keating Five" scandal).

[ ]

A key role in the BoNY money laundering was played
by a small company, linked to Mogilevich, called Benex,
described in the congressional testimony by the former
Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State, Jonathan
M. Winer:


[ . . . ]
In response to my questions, I learned that the Benex
account at the Bank of New York had moved more
than $4.2 billion, with over 8,000 transactions a month
for an average of one wire transfer every five minutes,
night and day, 24 hours a day, for 18 months. I learned
that Benex with its couple of employees and personal
computers was operated by Peter Berlin, a Russian
who had married a U.S. citizen named Lucy Edwards,
herself Russian-born, who had divorced her first,
American husband after acquiring U.S. citizenship.
I learned that Ms. Edwards worked at the Bank of
New York, where Benex maintained its account and
through which Benex undertook its money laundering
activity. I learned that Ms. Edwards’ job at the Bank
of New York was to head the East European Trade
Finance Department at the Bank of New York’s
London offices, and that she remained in daily contact
with her husband Peter Berlin, who was still in New
York, running Benex.

Mr. Chairman, my jaw literally dropped open when
I was provided this information. In the past I had
investigated the Bank of Credit and Commerce
International, BCCI, and a lot of other big international
money laundering cases, but this case had stunning
implications. It suggested as a serious possibility that
Benex was a multibillion dollar money laundering
business operated by a couple of Russians, including
one insider at a major United States money center
bank, and that Benex was among other things
laundering funds in New York City for the some of
the worst elements of the Russian mob. In various
capacities, I had prosecuted, investigated, analyzed,
or undertaken oversight of many major money
laundering cases over the previous 20 years. I had
never heard of any money laundering case of this
[ . . . ]

And Europeans might be interested in Solntsevo’s
multi-billion dollar money laundering scheme in several
European countries recently uncovered by the police
investigation code-named “Operation Spiderweb” and
also linked to the BoNY scheme.

The Maxwell book may very well spur more research
about the ties between Robert Maxwell and Semion
Mogilevich and the Solntsevo. It will be interesting to
see if the Maxwell book will elicit a backlash from the
Mossad. In the past, the Mossad tried to financially
cripple Victor Ostrovsky for his Mossad expose, while
in the Ari Ben-Menashe case, the Mossad initially
claimed that he never even worked for them. Thomas
and Dillion used both as sources.

In the meantime, below are some excerpts from the

Stefan Lemieszewski

P.S. BTW, Enron’s auditor, Arthur Andersen, was the
accountant for both Multigroup and Maxwell’s receivership.


Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and
Murder of a Media Mogul”
(2002; Carroll & Graf Publishers; ISBN 0-78677-1078-0)
by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon.

Chapter 1 Days of Kidon

[ . . . ]
There were also other names, dangerously embarrassing
names, that had links to Maxwell and Israel. They did not
officially appear on any of the Maxwell company documents.
These people held their shares through nominee attorneys
or accountants. Those names had invested in Maxwell
because they believed it would make it easier for them
to conduct their activities: whole-scale drug running,
money laundering, trafficking in humans and gun running.
By 1991, investors included the heads of the Russian
Mafia, who had positioned themselves for the imminent
collapse of the Soviet Union.

One was Semion Yukovich Mogilevich. He was a
specialist in every major crime. Maxwell had arranged
for Mogilevich to enter the Western financial world in
1988. It was a time when the Bank of New York had
begun aggressively to prepare to step into the post-
Communist financial world. Maxwell had introduced
the bank to a Swiss banker who ran an investment
brokerage in Geneva with branch offices in the Middle
East, west Africa and the Cayman Islands. For
Mogilevich it was an ideal window through which to
launder his money - into hard currency. But to keep
check on what was happening, he needed a passport.
Robert Maxwell had recommended he should be given
one from the State of Israel. The passports had been
issued to Mogilevich and 23 of his gang members.

There were others on the list who did not need such
a document. One was Edmund Safra, a US-based
billionaire banker who had made tens of millions of
dollars managing the funds of other members of the
Russian Mafia. Safra had links to Maxwell: they had
dined on board the Lady Ghislaine when the yacht
berthed opposite Safra’s home in Monte Carlo.

[ . . . ]
For his part, Maxwell had learned enough about the
methods of British intelligence to discover that truth
is an acquired taste. Years later, after he had finally
been recruited by Mossad, he had been told by Rafi
Eitan, ‘our work is to create history and then hide it.
On the whole we are honourable, respect constitutional
government, free speech and human rights. But in the
end we also understand that nothing must stand in the
way of what we do.’

[ . . . ]
[ Cont'd in Part 4 ]


[ Cont'd from Part 3 ]

Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and
Murder of a Media Mogul”
(2002; Carroll & Graf Publishers; ISBN 0-78677-1078-0)
by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon.

[ . . . ]
A substantial portion of the MI6 file - according to one
of its former officers, Richard Tomlinson - was devoted
to Maxwell's connections with the KGB and its satellite
services in the Soviet Bloc. Tomlinson was to recall that
there was also 'a lot of interesting stuff about Maxwell's
dealings with some very dodgy characters, heads of the
Russian criminal families. Some of the stuff on file were
transcripts of meetings with them in hotels in Moscow.
There was also material on his ties to Israel.'

MI5's file was focused on Maxwell's financial activities
in the City of London: his borrowings, his relationships
with dozen of banks both in London and New York, and
details about his interlinked companies.

[ . . . ]
By using his scientific contacts, offering to publish their
work on computer technology in his magazines, he
was able to provide hard evidence that the Eastern
Bloc was well behind the West in technology and

It gave Israel an opening to sell secretly a number of
Eastern Bloc countries computers produced by Degem,
Maxwell's own company. In turn that allowed Mossad
to send its own electronic specialists to the Soviet
Union, posing as technicians, to cast their eyes over
the state of the domestic computer industry.

Step by step, while Israel had no meaningful diplomatic
presence in the Soviet Union, Maxwell's intelligence
gathering opened up the reality of what was happening
in the Communist empire.

[ . . . ]
Robert Maxwell's interest in Bulgaria had started before
he was recruited by Mossad. In one of those earlier
meetings with Vladimir Kryuchkov in Moscow, Maxwell
raised the possibility that Bulgaria might be a country
where he could invest his money away from prying eyes
in the City of London and Wall Street.

The KGB chief had been surprised. He had assumed
'somebody like Maxwell had taken care of such matters'.

But Maxwell had persisted. He would like to use
Bulgaria to store substantial sums of money in hard
currency. It would, of course, have to be available to
him for withdrawal on demand. In the meantime, a
Bulgarian bank would become his own personal vault,
even more inaccessible than those in Switzerland.

Kryuchkov had asked for time to see if this was feasible.
No other entrepreneur from outside the Soviet Union,
let alone someone of the status of Robert Maxwell,
had been given such financial shelter. Kryuchkov had
correctly assumed that the money Maxwell wanted to
bury in Bulgaria would raise serious questions in the
bastions of the West's financial centres.

But there could be an advantage for Russia. Moscow
effectively controlled Bulgaria's banking system.
Allowing Maxwell to keep money there would enable
the KGB to have an inside view of how he operated.
There would also be the not insignificant fact that he
would be expected to pay a 'handling fee' for such a
service. That would come into the KGB's own bank
in Moscow.

Kryuchkov consulted with the then single most
important leader in the Soviet Union, his own
predecessor at the KGB and at that time General
Secretary of the Communist Party's Central
Committee: Yuri Andropov.

The bespectacled party chief had listened carefully
to Kryuchkov in his Kremlin office. Andropov knew
Maxwell better than anyone in the Soviet Union.
They shared a background of poverty and each had
risen to eminence by a combination of hard work,
ruthlessness and duplicity. They also shared another
link. Both were Jews. But unlike Maxwell, Andropov
had carefully hidden his ethnic roots. To be a Jew in
the Soviet hierarchy was as dangerous as being one
in Hitler's Third Reich.

Maxwell had learned about Andropov's background
from Rafi Eitan. Just like Eitan, he had also filed that
titbit away in one of those compartments in his mind.
Without telling Kryuchkov, he had called Andropov on
the Jewish Day of Atonement. During the conversation
he said how much he would like to help develop Bulgaria
because as a Jew he had always wished to see an
impoverished country begin to prosper; the pitiful state
of Bulgaria's economy reminded him of what life had
been like in those days when he had grown up in
Slatinske Doly.

While the precise words of their conversation went
unrecorded, it was left to Kryuchkov to say, 'No one
can agree like two Jews united in common purpose.'

More certain is that Robert Maxwell also recognised
that when Andropov finally succumbed to the kidney
disease that was in an advanced stage, Kryuchkov
would still be an influential figure in the Soviet
archipelago - and a source of important information
for Mossad.

He began to send couriered gifts to Kryuchkov's office
in the Lubyanka: a cashmere coat, sets of solid golf
cufflinks, the latest hi-fi set and a box of the finest
opera recordings. Every week without fail the British
Airways flight from London to Moscow had stowed in
its hold a crate of vintage Scotch whisky or Krug

Inevitably, the gifts came to the attention of MI6. It
deepened its concern that Maxwell might in the later
words of one serving officer 'be doing a Blunt or
Philby'. Both men had been close to the core of British
intelligence and had betrayed its secrets to Moscow.
But David Spedding, the MI6 chief, decided that
Maxwell was purely driven by an insatiable need to
promote himself so as to become a major deal maker
in the Soviet Union.

By then Vladimir Kryuchkov had agreed to provide
Maxwell with his financial bunker in the Bulgarian
capital, Sofia. In one of those piquant twists that the
KGB liked, the Bank of Bulgaria, where Maxwell's
money would be safe, was one the KGB used to
finance international terrorist groups and the global
traffic in drugs.

To watch over Maxwell, Kryuchkov decided he needed
his most trusted operative in Bulgaria. He was Andrei
Lukanov. Still not fifty years of age, he had been a
member of Bulgaria's Central Committee for over a
decade. Soft-spoken, he bore a broad Slav face, its
most noticeable feature being his expressive eyes.
Like Maxwell, Lukanov had long buried his peasant
background. He dressed, walked and spoke in an
aristocratic manner. Those he favoured, he greeted
with a hug for the men, a hand-kiss for the women.
Others he no longer favoured often disappeared from
one day to the next. No one would ever know how
many persons he had got rid of with a few whispered
words or a nod. He was cast in the mould of a Mafia

Before Maxwell had been given his special coded
account in the Bank of Bulgaria, Kryuchkov had
sent for Lukanov.

[ . . . ]
But not even Robert Maxwell, in those halcyon months
after that dinner at the Sofia Sheraton, could have
imagined that the empire he was single-handedly
creating - Lukanov and Doinov were soon no more
than underlings at his beck and call - would grow into
one of the most powerful crime syndicates in the world,
embracing the Russian Mafia, the crime families of
Bulgaria and, far away across the Atlantic, those in
New York and, on the other side of the world, the
crime families of Japan and Hong Kong. By then all
the companies that Maxwell had formed would come
under one name: Multi-Group. It would control a
significant percentage of the global profits from gas,
telecommunications, oil, gambling and money
laundering. If Maxwell had seen it reach that stage,
he might well have tried to insist that due tribute be
paid to his achievement. Who can doubt as the founder
godfather he would have liked his name in the title.
Maxwell Multi Group would surely have had a ring
which would have appealed to his overwhelming

John P O'Neill, FBI executive agent-in-charge in New
York, would later say that 'in many ways Maxwell was
at the heart of the global criminal network. Beginning
with his Bulgarian connection he showed how to
structure a network that grew into financially powerful
criminal corporations whose power would extend to
the South American drug cartels, the Tongs and the
Triads, the Russian Mafia and the Japanese Yakuza.
They were all there before. But the way Robert Maxwell
set up things up, they would all come together in Multi-
Group in its early years. His last contribution was not
that he just robbed his pension funds. It was that he
was the man who set in motion a true coalition of global

Meanwhile, in those months of founding this great
underbelly of criminality to support his very public face
in London and New York, Maxwell had continued to
service the needs of Mossad.

Just as Degem Computers provided cover for katsas
to move through South America, so those in the
Eastern Bloc served the same purpose. Mossad, like
all intelligence services, had until then found it very
difficult to operate in Russia and its satellites. While
the CIA and British intelligence still found it hard to
do so, Robert Maxwell ensured that Mossad could
penetrate far into the economic structure of Eastern
Europe and make informed judgments never before
possible by working under cover of the Neva

[ . . . ]
The morning after the Sheraton dinner, Maxwell sent
for Doinov. They strolled through the ground of the
government villa where Maxwell usually stayed. He
said he had been serious about resolving Bulgaria's
foreign debt. All he would require was a commission
of 15 per cent. Doinov agreed that was reasonable,
yet it could just have been a figure that Maxwell
pulled out of the air to show how powerful he was.

Crunching over the snow, Maxwell then began to
outline how it would be possible.

The first steps would be to restructure a joint venture
company, BIMEX, which Maxwell had set up with
Lukanov some time ago. This would now be registered
in London with two addresses, Headington Hill Hall
and Maxwell House. The shareholders would be
those in another of Maxwell's companies, Orbit House
Enterprises. The initial capital would be $1 million for
500,000 shares, equally divided between the Orbit
stockholders and those in BIMEX, Bulgaria. Its board
would be reinforced by a director of a Bulgarian bank
registered in Beirut. It was called LITEX and was a
cover for the Middle East station of the Bulgarian
secret service.

This interlocking arrangement would pave the way
for Maxwell to obtain a controlling interest in the
Bulgarian Cooperative Bank. For years the bank
had unwittingly been a conduit for money laundering
by one of the major criminal families in Moscow, the
Rising Sun [aka Solntsevo], whose head was Simeon

But, on that January day in 1987, Robert Maxwell
confined himself to explaining to Doinov the finer
points of international financial manipulation. Once
he had his hands on the Cooperative Bank, Maxwell
would quietly forget about his offer to service Bulgaria's
foreign debt. The bank would provide him with a means,
according to a later Bulgarian government report, to:

“launder over $1 billion through Switzerland,
some of it passing through Gibraltar to
Liechtenstein as a consequence of joint
ventures like BIMEX and others in which
Maxwell was involved. As a result of Decision
53 of the Council of Ministers, $200 million of
the country's monetary reserve was invested
in shares and bonds via Maxwell's Bishopsgate
International Investment Management PLC in

Vassily Koralov, director of the Bulgarian Foreign
Trade Bank, was unable to explain how Maxwell had
taken $500 million out of the country with simply a
bank withdrawal slip.

'I cannot imagine how it was possible to do this without
the signature of the head accountant. I have no desire
to comment on whether the money had been money
that came in from abroad,' Koralov said.

The money came from profits Neva had made in sales
of computer technology to all the Eastern Bloc countries.
Maxwell had set up a web of financial companies across
the world that ensured those profits would never be
traced. The funereal-like Dr R had seen to that. The
one certainty is that they far exceeded the $1 billion
that the Bulgarian government subsequently reported
it was able to identify.

Credit Suisse in Switzerland, banks in Gibraltar - which
serve the same purpose as do those in the Cayman
Islands and Liechtenstein - were mere staging points
on the electronic trail the ingenious Dr R had opened,
and along which his client, Robert Maxwell, was the
only man allowed to travel. It would remain so well
disguised that investigators from the US Internal
Revenue Service, from Britain's Inland Revenue and
from all the regulatory bodies who may have suspected
it existed, would never - ever - be able to follow it.

[Cont'd in Part 5]


[Cont'd from Part 4]

Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and
Murder of a Media Mogul”
(2002; Carroll & Graf Publishers; ISBN 0-78677-1078-0)
by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon.

[ . . . ]
On the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Admoni
had gathered his staff in the Mossad canteen and said:
'I wish us all a year without mistakes. We need to all
keep our eye on the ball.'

It was an injunction in the case of Robert Maxwell that
Nahum Admoni should himself have heeded. The
criminals Maxwell was becoming involved with would
not only lead him into dangerous and uncharted waters,
but would eventually pose a threat to Israel and seal
Admoni's own fate. He would become the Mossad
director who did not hear the alarm bells ringing.

The danger surfaced in Moscow over another of
those dinners Kryuchkov gave Maxwell in the Lubyanka
late in 1988. Even more fearful at the pace at which
perestroika was accelerating, Kruychkov said that for
the KGB to remain a potent force he wanted to establish
'over six hundred commercial enterprises'. They would
all have links to the West. Just as Maxwell's companies
provided cover for Mossad's katsas, Kryuchkov
envisaged his companies would provide similar
protection for KGB operatives. The Russian companies
would operate on sound business principles, just like
any other corporation in the West. The profits from the
Russian concerns would go to the KGB and help fund
its foreign intelligence operations. Maxwell was assured
none of these would be against the State of Israel.

Kryuchkov had explained that behind his immediate
plan was a long-term one. The six hundred companies
would each employ a quota of senior party members
to provide them with an income during the difficult days
ahead in the transition from Communism to capitalism.
Through genuine trading links, the companies would
obtain access to the very heart of capitalism: Wall Street
and the City of London and the Bourses of Western Europe.
Its staffs would then learn the innermost secrets of the
West's banking system, the wellspring of all capitalism.
Eventually it might even be possible to destabilise
Western economies - and pave the way for the return
of Communism.

It was madcap scheming that Stalin would have been
proud of.

But there was more.

Before that meeting Maxwell met a man in the plan
Kryuchkov had created. His name was Simeon
Mogilevich. He was a Ukrainian-born Jew and head of
the Rising Sun [aka Solntsevo], one of Moscow's major
criminal families. And soon, thanks to Maxwell, he would
be able to travel on an Israeli passport.

Money laundering, weapons, contract hits and drug
trafficking were the staples of Mogilevich's work.

At their first meeting, again in Moscow, Mogilevich told
Maxwell he would be able to get Jews out of the Soviet
Union and had done so on many occasions. The truth
was that Mogilevich had repeatedly robbed Soviet
Jews of their last valuables in return for his promise to
smuggle them to Israel.

By the time he met Maxwell, Mogilevich had established
some fifty legitimate companies in Israel, Britain, the
United States, Austria and Germany. Through them
he laundered his criminal profits. These would grow to
some $40 billion a year after he met Maxwell.

A phone call to Tel Aviv, and Mogilevich had his
passport. Now he could go anywhere - and he did:
to Liechtenstein to set up a new money-laundering
operation; to Gibraltar, to Cyprus, the Channel Islands
and the Cayman Islands. In all these places money
and a no-questions policy were opposite sides of the
same coin, and Simeon Mogilevich, thanks to Robert
Maxwell, availed himself of new opportunities.

The second man to cross Maxwell's path, this time
through an introduction by his old friend Andrei Lukanov,
was Ivo Janchev.

An officer in the Bulgarian secret service, he had
ambitions to be rich whatever it took. Using his
contacts in Moscow and Budapest, he would be the
link to organised crime figures like Mogilevich. He
would also be the front man to make contact with
several Russians with businesses in the West.

Within a few months of meeting Mogilevich and
Janchev, Robert Maxwell had gone into partnership
with them. He had now become a serious player in
the world of organised crime.

Even by Maxwell's standards of being willing to
enter into any arrangement that would ultimately
profit him, his decision to partner these two men
was extraordinary.

Maxwell was a corporate raider, a man who would
breeze into a boardroom and say he had come to
buy the company. His new partners' usual technique
was to storm into a company with their private
armies of former Soviet Spetznaz (special forces),
and threaten to take apart the building unless the
offer they made was accepted.

While Maxwell had a bevy of fawning secretaries to
slip him his deodorant or mop his brow, his partners
did not bother with such feminine niceties. They
depended on their armed bodyguards to make sure
no one passed comment on their body odour. At
play they could be rough, publicly manhandling their
women, stomping their way into a night spot and
terrorising the other clients.

Their business was prostitution, drug running, traffic
in humans. When MI5 discovered how Mogilevich
earned his money, they informed the Home Office
which expelled him from Britain and publicly branded
him as 'one of the most dangerous criminals in the
world'. It is hard to believe that Robert Maxwell did
not know that. Yet he continued to be drawn ever
deeper into the dark and evil empire Mogilevich
operated. A number of people who had crossed his
path had been disposed of into the Moscow River or
in one of the city's back streets. He had his own team
of killers never further away than a phone call.

These two were the men Maxwell had chosen as
his partners. The question that would be asked was:
why? Why did a tycoon still listed among the top ten
publishers in the world, among men like Murdoch,
not only rub shoulders with, but treat as equals,
Lukanov, Janchev and Mogilevich?

Maxwell's enjoyment came from being seen in public
with kings and queens, with Prince Charles and
Princess Diana, with Hollywood stars. Through them
he could continue to fill not only the pages of his own
newspapers, but those of his rivals. But with his three
new partners he dared not even be photographed by
a hostess in a Sofia nightclub. He could meet his
partners only in the shadows, in one of their fortified
palaces where even he had to undergo a body scan
before gaining access.

He could never invite them, even in the dead of night,
to visit him. He could never take them for a cruise on
the Lady Ghislaine. He could do almost nothing that
he normally liked to do to show his power. He was
just their business partner. No more. No less.

He knew their business was corruption and
pornography of every kind: fortunes were made from
prostitution and drug trafficking, from trading in men,
women and children for the sex industry, from the
mass marketing of obscene films, from contract
killings, blackmail, extortion.

What was Robert Maxwell doing in their world?
The answer would come within a few months of their
alliance. Maxwell, who was not averse to hiding behind
other respectable figures - the Rothschilds, the Lehman
Brothers and that epitome of respectability, the governor
of the Bank of England, Robin Leigh-Pemberton - would
now find himself fronting for three of the world's most
powerful godfathers. There is only one reason why he
would do so, feel he must do so: the attraction of making
still more money to satisfy his insatiable desire to be the
richest man in the world. The obsession may have gone
all the way back to that time when he walked barefoot
in the summer, shared his shoes with his siblings in the
winter, when he slept under a quilt smelling of sour straw
and when his mother had told him that to be an Englishman
was to be different. He had become an Englishman of sorts.
He was certainly different - if that meant being wealthy. But
he had not yet enough money. Lukanov, Mogilevich and
Janchev had offered him a means to come that much
closer to getting what he wanted.

Through his own connections to international finance,
where his very name could still open doors to the
bankers at Goldman Sachs and the House of Morgan,
he had paved the way for the godfathers to enter with
him. Israel's superspy had now become an associate of
criminals. Fraud by now was nothing new to Maxwell.
But to be a partner with criminals on every watch list of
police and intelligence services was something new.

It marked his fall, rise and fall again: he had fallen
after the damning report by the British government's
inspectors that he was not fit to be a director of any
company; he had risen again to own the Daily Mirror.
But now he had embarked on a journey that could only
lead to another fall.

Nevertheless, he must have believed he could still
count on the protection of Mossad. He could only have
believed that because he knew so much of their own
dark secrets that, if his own criminal connections had
surfaced, he could depend on Mossad to help him.

In New York, the FBI chief, John P O'Neill, later
identified the global threat posed by organised crime
and its links to Maxwell:

'Some of Maxwell's associates were involved in
narcotics, illegal weapons and contract killings, of
which there may be as many as five hundred a year.
They were also into smuggling precious metals and
counterfeiting. They had links with the Russian
military. Any Russian banker that didn't do their
bidding knew what to expect. He got a grenade tossed
into his car. A hit like that could be arranged for as
little as two hundred bucks. People who tried to cross
them had nowhere to run. They could hunt you down

'These people had sophisticated operations for
washing money in London and New York. It came
from drugs, financial fraud -just one step beyond
what Maxwell was doing - prostitution and extortion.

'Their operations looked something like this. In
Britain it was money laundering. Same in Switzerland.
Italy was drugs and traffic in people -mostly women
for prostitution. In Belgium and Germany, it was stolen
cars and more laundering of profits. Albania and
Poland was fraud, arms and drugs. Maxwell showed
how an intricate, complex web of shell companies
under a group umbrella could move money around
the globe. When New York became a target for
Eastern Bloc criminal syndicates and we looked at
how it operated, the Maxwell model was there for
all to see.'

[ . . . ]
At a meeting with Lukanov, Maxwell said he wanted
a new stake in BZK and for his Bishopsgate Investment
Trust to handle a substantial portion of Bulgaria's
current $10 billion foreign debt.

He also wanted something else: the pick of Todor
Zhivkov's palaces and villas, now all about to come
on the market. They were being offered at bargain-
basement prices. Maxwell would buy the choicest
for himself and acquire the others either for resale
or high rentals to the foreign investors he would
bring into Bulgaria.

Accompanied by Nick Davies and his photographer,
he travelled to Perla on the Black Sea. It was famous
for two reasons. It produced the best rikea drink in
all Bulgaria and was the site of the former president's
most luxurious holiday palace. It had its own harbour
and a cinema.

When Maxwell returned to Sofia, Doinov was
anxiously waiting.

'I told him I had decided I was at risk - that I knew
too much. Mr Maxwell told me to leave Bulgaria
right away without telling anyone and promised to
install me in Vienna as his consultant,' said Doinov.

Maxwell also promised Doinov a large salary and
an ongoing secret role in laundering money from

Lukanov, when he later faced scrutiny for his links
to Maxwell, turned the tables on Doinov with a letter
he published, within which he cited Doinov.

A Bulgarian federal prosecutor would later threaten,
'I will personally go to Vienna and bring Doinov back
to Sofia in a bag if I have to.'

With no extradition treaty, that had proved impossible.

Another man who crossed Maxwell's path was Michael
Chorney [Mikhail Chorny], a Russian Jew with an Israeli
passport. Young and flashy, he impressed Maxwell as
someone who would go a long way. Chorney had his own
eye on setting up banks, hi-tech businesses and buying
a football team in Bulgaria. In time he would learn a lot
from Maxwell's flamboyant style and hard-nosed strategy.
He would also subsequently become a controversial

With Doinov in Vienna and Andrei Lukanov running
the country, Maxwell had achieved his goal of making
Bulgaria his own.

But events at home, in Russia and in Israel were about
to threaten all that.
[ . . . ]
Like sex in Victorian England, the reality of Big Business today is our big dirty secret. Ralph Nader
Welcome to the forum Jeff.
What a fascinating post. I was wondering how long it would take for PROMIS to get an airing here. There is certainly a lot of very interesting information here. I look forward to more :fisheye:
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

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