PM Borissov: US Withdraws Extradition Request for Bulgarian National Zhelyaz Andreev
October 31 (BTA) - Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told journalists here on Wednesday that the US has officially withdrawn the extradition request for Bulgarian national Zhelyaz Andreev, as maintaining the extradition request would be pointless given the reasons outlined in a letter by the Bulgarian Justice Ministry and the Prosecutor General to the US Department of Justice.
Andreev was arrested this April in Dobrich (Northeastern Bulgaria) in connection with a Miami investigation against eleven individuals, including five Bulgarians, suspected of violating the US trade embargo against Syria. Andreev was charged with conspiracy to defraud the US Government, smuggling goods from the US, submitting false or misleading export information, conspiracy to commit money laundering and false statements. Andreev and several others of the accused worked for the Sofia office of AW-Tronics, a Miami-based company which shipped and exported various aircraft parts and equipment to Syrian Arab Airlines. Between May 2013 and April 2016, Andreev worked for AW-Tronics' sales department and his job was to offer aircraft parts to air companies and aircraft repair shops in various countries, including Syrian Air. He was later released from custody on his own recognizance.
In response to the extradition request, Bulgaria and the US started consultations with the participation of Justice Minister Tsetska Tsacheva and Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov. As part of these consultations, Borissov conferred with US Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his visit to Sofia this May. RY/MY