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About the authorBooksGeorgi Markov`s casePiccadilly fileThe archives of the SSSContacts
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Overseas companies with Bulgarian involvement can be classified into three groups:

- The first group – those companies belonging to State Security Services. They can be divided into two sub-groups. The first were involved in state-backed contraband, used to carry out arms deals and the smuggling of narcotic substances, other goods and non-ferrous metals. The second sub-group was made up of so-called “tacit companies”, connected primarily with the activities of the First Main Directorate of the SSS, (intelligence operations), and which carried out procurement (theft) of Western technologies, banned by embargo.

- The Second Group – were commercial companies. These made up the largest number and they carried out the export and import activities for commercial and foreign-trade organisations, aimed at expanding existing markets and conquering new.

- The Third Group – were manufacturing companies which were made up of a series of bankrupt Western companies purchased by the communist government.


The book is based upon a wide range of documents. Hristov studied government archives (including many classified until 2004) in the Central State Archive, for the period 1961-1993, as well as a number of decisions of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the BCP and various commissions from the same period. The work examines the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and various foreign commercial organisations form the 1960’s and 1970’s. Another key archive to which the author had sole access in Bulgaria was investigative case No.4/1990 of the Senior Prosecutor’s office into the economic catastrophe caused by the communist government. It contains unique materials which do not figure anywhere else relating to areas which were under investigation by the prosecutor’s office: “State Contraband”, “Foreign Trade”, and “Overseas Companies”, as well as evidence provided by the political and economic elite of the BCP government. The work also uses the archives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Bulgarian National Bank, the Ministry of the Economy and the National Assembly, as well as documents from the Privatisation Agency.

For the first time the author uses documents from the archive of the former First Directorate of the State Security Service relating to scientific and technical intelligence operations and cooperation with the KGB. These documents were provided officially to the author by the National Intelligence Service in 2008.


Hristo Hristov was also able to examine the commercial registers of the administrative courts in the largest cities in Germany, where the majority of overseas companies were registered. The court archives in Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin and Hamburg provided information about the histories of each company and details about which ones survived after privatization and who are the new owners.