Vasil “The Skull” Bojkov, the richest man in Bulgaria, is thought to have been involved in mafia activity for quite some time. While some actions of his can potentially be mistaken for something more sinister, there exists hardly any evidence to aid these claims.
1989 was the season that communism fell in Bulgaria. This signified a desperate necessity for growth in economy and thus it was a really good time for anybody to put together an organization; Lachezar Bogdanov, manager from the Bulgarian economic think tank Industry Watch, stated that, “You could get a three bedroom flat in Sofia for $4,000”. If everything was this cheap during that time, there will be no requirement to turn to criminal activity within the search for wealth. Bojkov opened his first business, a currency exchange, in 1990 which very quickly developed into a chain because of these circumstances.
Together with two partners, Bojkov could then begin a ga-mbling company in 1991. From only one cas-ino on the Hotel Rila in Sofia, this business erupted into essentially countless casi-nos through the country. This is particularly intriguing because, despite the economic state, it would’ve taken lots of careful planning and preparation to be successful like this. Bojkov had to put lots of time, money and very dedicated work into his business and within a year, he had enough profit to open a holding company- Nove Holding. It envelopes over 30 companies today which fails to include its’ countless subsidiaries. One particular company is Eurofootball, a betting agency that numerous know of. In 1994, he even opened his own bank known as the Bulgarian Commercial Industrial Bank.
Lots of people may be suspicious regarding how Bojkov acquired his curious nickname ‘The Skull’. Most might feel that it offers something to do with his alleged criminal background, however it offers far more innocent roots. The nickname originated from his childhood. As a youth, he was slender and bony which highlighted his facial features. For this reason, other children nicknamed him ‘Skull’ which caught on and it is now used more humorously than anything.
One of the biggest concerns surrounding Bojkov is the peculiar concept that he is some sort of ‘mafia kingpin’; apparently, despite success from hundreds of other people in much harsher economic climates, anybody can only attain a great deal power through illegal means. True, the unfortunate coincidence of his nickname and status can appear unsettling, but there isn’t any evidence to demonstrate he’s done anything wrong in the entire 61 years of living. Actually his numerous acts of philanthropy advise that these claims could not be further from the truth.
Some sources have brought up a leaked US CDA report during 2009 on the most wanted criminals in Bulgaria. While Vasil Bojkov is about this list, combined with the Margin Brothers, the Beret and the Galev Brothers, there are several points to get addressed.
To begin with, the report states that Bojkov is “moving out from the organised crime business”. If he was involved to begin with, which can be very unlikely, this should reveal that he’s turning his life around. He could be trying to correct his wrongfully assigned reputation. He may be doing things within an entirely different context than what you would think. There is not any evidence to support he is anyone other than a hard working and opportunistic business man who worked his way to the very top.
Secondly, the crimes ‘committed’ by him are extremely tame as compared to the other criminal figures. Allegedly, he or she is associated with money laundering, racketeering and illegal antique dealing at worst. Not just can there be such miniscule evidence for this particular, these crimes are nothing when compared with horrible things like human trafficking, drug smuggling and contract killings committed by other authoritative figures in Bulgaria. There is pure speculation at many of any one of these artefacts being illegal.
Thirdly, the antique dealing is both very hard to avoid and evidently, avoided as much as possible by Bojkov. He has an extraordinary assortment of over 3000 artefacts depicting ancient Greek, Thracian as well as some Roman history. The restoration of lost ancient Bulgarian culture is among his main priorities and he has done a lot of work for a brief history and economy of Bulgaria.
Something we know for sure about Bojkov is the fact they have feelings of humour. Smiling or chuckling when asked about his involvement with crime, most are able to see that he’s just pointing out the absurdity within the situation. With divzna hard he’s worked, how plausible his story is with no evidence to back up any allegations against him, can he really be as bad as people say? If anything, he or she is extremely determined and ready to conduct a lot for his goal; whether that be restoring history, supporting the Bulgarian emergency services or supporting himself financially.
Another fairly interesting thing about Vasil Bojkov is the fact that they have never actually been brought to court. Without actual proof of his ‘crimes’ throughout his 38 years of owning businesses, shouldn’t someone have found something at this point?
We have seen lots of discussion surrounding what Bojkov has supposedly done when it comes to organised crime, but his philanthropic actions have a tendency to go unnoticed most of the time. For instance, He has a whole fleet of jets & helicopters which are lent towards the government in order to help with the exceedingly high crime rate and medical emergency services in Bulgaria. He has also dedicated years to his collection of ancient artefacts and restoring this history through exhibitions and books. There is certainly a lot he’s done for his country which may get ignored over something that probably isn’t true.
In reality, one of the primary areas affected by Bojkov is sport. For instance, as he was chairman of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, Bulgaria was ranked 1st- for women and men alike. When he was chairman of the Bulgarian Federation of Sports Shooting, three gold olympic medals were won. As he owned the CSKA football team, they can won against Liverpool in 2002. This just goes to show how integral Bojkov is as an element of Bulgaria and a national treasure himself.