Bulgarian Bookmaker Investigated for Money Laundering

A huge scandal with one of the biggest gambling companies on the Balkans, Efbet, hits the titles of the front pages of dozens of online newspapers and websites. The fact that the Bulgarian bookmaker operates in several countries and, undoubtedly, is mixed up in various illegal activities, and each one explains the recent media coverage not only in Bulgaria but abroad as well. Things get even more complicated because the trademark belongs to the company Brobet LTD, which is registered in Malta and used to hold the license for online gambling on the island.

A series of investigations have been going on in Bulgaria against the owners – Stefan Naydenov and his sons Boyan Naydenov and Tsvetomir Naydenov for the past two months.

After the long-investigated signal, special agents working for the State Agency for National Security (SANS) stormed in the headquarters of Efbet in the capital city Sofia. They managed to confiscate plenty of documents that proved the Naydenovs were dealing with tax evasion and money laundering through offline and online bets on their platform. And while many expected this to be all, the situation with Efbet has been worsening progressively ever since. The scandal was covered by British newspapers, too, with facts proving the link between the Naydenovs to the racist outrage during the Bulgaria-England qualifier for the Euro 2020.

The Maltese National Revenue Agency and the Gambling Committee also reacted on the matter, which resulted in further investigations performed locally. As a result, the Maltese gambling license owned by Efbet was just recently suspended, depriving the bookmaker of the right to operate on the island.

Stefan Naydenov and his sons not only manipulate matches but also accept and pay off sports wagers in full violation of the Gambling Act and the Cash Restrictions Act. Employees working at Efbet casinos reveal that quite often, the online betting system gets manipulated, allowing individual gamblers to always come out as winners who earn a significant amount of money on their bets. This is happening by accepting bets on matches that are already over, and the result is known. Imagine how attractive this scheme is. If you already know what the outcome of a certain match is, it becomes a real game-changer and a total win-win situation for you as a gambler. Witnesses also point out that another way used for money laundering by the Naydenovs is through fake bets, which works very simple indeed. A wager is accepted, but the gambler places no real cash. However, all the pay-outs from the fake lotteries are given in the end. Quite often, they pay in cash, with a significant percentage from the profit saved for the Naydenovs.

How does that work? An Ex-employee involved in the money laundering process spoke in front of journalists what the exact scheme was.

He explains that there are 20 + accounts to which the online betting stays open for about a minute after the match has finished, which gives them enough time to bet extensive amounts on the exact results. The bets are then considered valid and paid out to the “gamblers.” And they on their side are returning 15-25% of the money to the family directly as a thank you for the money laundering. This is how millions of crime organisations are being cleaned.

Employees reveal further that this method is usually used with foreign clients, supposedly from England, Italy, and Spain.

But similar schemes happen outside Bulgaria too, and that’s why investigations are taking place in England, Spain, Malta, Greece, and Romania. Several media channels, including the English website https://www.theleader.info , the Italian http://www.torinoggi.it, and a few Maltese and Greek sites, also reported such violations and well-organised illegal money-making scenarios at Efbet casinos. The Naydenovs have come out with really successful methods for money laundering.

Efbet continues its expansion in Europe and just recently obtained its Italian license for offline and online gambling from AAMS or the Italian State Gambling Regulation Commission. Their arsenal of licenses includes 5 in total – Bulgaria, Spain, Romania, Serbia, and Italy. The Naydenovs lost their Maltese license after thorough investigations on their illegal gambling activities.