Top banker killed in Bulgaria's capital

An unidentified gunman on Wednesday shot and killed a banker and injured his driver in Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, police said.

Emil Kyulev, 48, owned the majority stake in the DZI Financial Group, which runs major insurance and leasing companies, and in DZI Bank, one of Bulgaria's ten largest banks. He was also the chairman of the board of directors of the DZI Financial Group, and the head procurator of DZI Bank.

Kyulev was shot in his car at a road crossing, and died on the spot, police said in a statement. His driver was taken to a hospital with injuries.

Police did not provide other details.

The slaying was similar to a string of killings in the past few years that police have blamed on turf wars between rival crime syndicates. This year alone, at least 15 people have been killed in such attacks, most of them suspected criminals.

The European Union, which Bulgaria aims to join in 2007, has warned the country to curb organized crime and overhaul its ineffective criminal justice system, otherwise its membership could be delayed, reports the AP.


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