Bulgarian 'cocaine kingpin' daughter kidnapped: police

The 10-year-old daughter of one of Bulgaria's alleged cocaine-trafficking lords, Evelin "Brendo" Banev, was kidnapped Tuesday morning in Sofia, police said.

The girl was being driven to school when three masked men opened fire on the car, wounding the driver and abducting her, Sofia police said.

The driver has been hospitalised.

The kidnapping happened in the posh Boyana neighbourhood on Sofia's outskirts early Tuesday morning, the police said.

This is the first high-profile kidnapping of such a young child in Bulgaria.

Over a dozen abductions for ransom were however carried out in 2008 and 2009 by a nine-member gang nicknamed "The Bold," members of which have since been arrested and sentenced to jail.

Banev, a 48-year-old former wrestler, was sentenced in February to seven and a half years in jail for laundering drug-dealing profits worth almost two million euros ($2.6 million).

The police operation against him and his accomplices was called "cocaine kingpins."

Banev was also due to be extradited to Italy, where he is to stand trial in March for allegedly trafficking 40 tonnes of cocaine from Latin America to Europe for the 'Ndrangheta mafia between 2004 and 2007.