The Israeli Gal Barak and his German partner Uwe Lenhoff were arrested in early 2019. They were the leaders of two closely cooperating international cybercrime organizations, which is said to have looted around €100 million annually via illegal online trading platforms. Bulgaria war their headquarters.
The arrest of Barak and Lenhoff never made headlines in Bulgaria. Neither the Interior Ministry, the Prosecutor’s Office, nor the National Security Agency (DANS) has mentiond the successful arrest of the “Wolf of Sofia,” the alias of Israeli Gal Barak.
The reason for this discretion is probably that Gal Barak was photographed with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the Chief Rabbi of the Habad Center for Bulgaria, Yosef Salamon. But that is not all. For years, Bulgaria has been known to be a suitable terrain for fraudulent schemes of all sizes due to inadequate law enforcement and the opportunity to launder stolen money through banks with lax oversight.
The international law enforcement actions were another blow to the bad reputation of the Bulgarian banking system, which is known to be prone to money laundering and cybercrime facilitation.
Gal Barak, the principal of the Bulgarian E&G Bulgaria cybercrime organization, was sentenced in Vienna in September 2020 to several years in prison and more than €4 million in restitution. He was released on parole in the fall of 2021 and reportedly returned to Israel by private jet where he resides with his Bulgarian wife Marina Barak (formerly Marina Andreeva). His wife is expecting a child and Gal Barak runs the Vantage Fund to finance former cybercrime activists. He was also recently seen in Tel Aviv again with former binary options scammers.