SHANE SMITH: We came back from
Bulgaria blown away by our biggest story that we’d ever
done, feeling like we were 60

Minutes or something.

And we gave all the footage
to our editor Jake. And Jake was confused
and saddened and

freaked out by it.

So what we’re going to do is go
through the whole editing

process with Jake.

JAKE BURGHART: Did you go
to Varna or Bapha first? SHANE SMITH: I don’t
know what Bapha is.

I think Bapha is Varna.

That’s sort of like that’s
phonetic and that’s English.

So we should start there.

We did an article in the
magazine about a French journalist who went to Bulgaria
and bought a warhead

on the black market.

We were so fascinated by this
that we decided to fly to Sofia and research
it ourselves. And when we were there, we met
this guy who’d written the first article about
it from Standart. He’s an American dude,
but he’s been living

there for 10 years.

MATTHEW BRUNWASSER: Every big
arms scandal that happened in the world had a Bulgarian
connection.

SHANE SMITH: Sure.

MATTHEW BRUNWASSER: They’d
find some box which said, these bullets were
made in Bulgaria. SHANE SMITH: He’s the guy who
helped us find this Ivanov. It’s not his right name,
Ivanov is like Smith. It’s like, you don’t
want anyone to

know, like me, Smith–

Ivanov.

MATTHEW BRUNWASSER: I first
heard about Mr. Ivanov in 2001, a couple months
after September 11. He is a former military
intelligence colonel. He went into private business
finding construction workers for the building industry
in Saudi Arabia. The bin Laden family’s one the
most powerful in Saudi Arabia. And if you’re going to do
construction work in Saudi Arabia, you’re going
to work with them

one way or the other.

SHANE SMITH: We’re interviewing
this dude who sold a warhead on the
black market. We’re here in Sliven, which
is in eastern Bulgaria. It used to be a Russian military
base where they have

some arms dumps.

Sliven is important because
it’s the place where the French journalist bought
the warhead. It’s where everything
went down. So we went there and are
researching and checking things out, and we get word
that Ivanov is actually in

Sunny Beach.

We just got to Sunny Beach.

We’ve been driving for six
hours, we’re on the Black Sea. Apparently, Ivanov is here doing
a construction project

for retirees.

To him, there’s no difference
between making Beverly Hills condos on the Black Sea
and selling warheads. Because it’s all just
capitalism.

It’s just buying and selling.

JAKE BURGHART: He’s just out
in the open doing normal

business now.

SHANE SMITH: Definitely.

JAKE BURGHART: Why would
he even talk to you? I mean, he’s got his own
stuff going now. SHANE SMITH: Well, because
we gave him money. Again, everything’s
very simple there. It’s capitalism, it’s
just like you want

anything, pay for it.

The mentality is selling women,
selling drugs, selling guns, selling condos, selling
cars, selling houses–

it doesn’t matter.

And the attitude, too, is this
is your system, it’s your

capitalism.

How can you look down
your noses at

us for selling warheads?

That’s what you do.

Warheads are worth money, and
therefore we sell them.

EDDY MORETTI: So what’s better,

capitalism or communism?

SHANE SMITH: And would you say
this is the largest investment of foreign capital in
Bulgaria right now? SHANE SMITH: What’s
the property tax

situation in Bulgaria?

Once you buy, you
have to pay tax? SHANE SMITH: As we’re talking to
him about his construction project, which actually has
a lot of Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian investment, the topic of
the Bin Laden Construction

Company came up.

And he said look, if we’re going
to talk about this any more, we have to go back to your
hotel where we can film

in private.

And I want my face blurred
and my voice distorted.

And we said, OK, let’s go.

SHANE SMITH: Not the daddy bin
Laden, Osama bin Laden. SHANE SMITH: And what
did he want? SHANE SMITH: So what they asked
him for was to set up a waste management company that
would get the contract to deal with the radioactive waste from
Kozloduy, which is the big Bulgarian nuclear
power station. They asked him to get this
waste management

company, he’s like why?

And they’re like, well,
we want to get waste.

That’s me being an Arab.

And then he said, but why?

Why don’t you get
the real thing?

And they’re like, real thing?

And that’s how the French guy
found out that real thing,

meaning the warhead.

SHANE SMITH: So they brought
in Fedor Patchenko, who was the ex-Vice Director of the
Soviet atomic program, to

verify that it was real.

SHANE SMITH: When you actually
see the footage of the detonator, you’re like, they
don’t need to get shitty

radioactive waste.

They can buy a plutonium
detonator on the black market. So that’s when you’re
like holy shit,

holy shit, holy shit.

JAKE BURGHART: So is it called a
dirty bomb because it’s made

with waste?

SHANE SMITH: Yes.

So let’s say you set off a dirty
bomb made out of cesium or something, some radioactive
material, in New York. It wouldn’t kill that
many people. Maybe it would kill a couple
thousand people. But it would irradiate all of
Manhattan, so everyone would

have to leave New York.

Because the chances of getting
cancer would increase 100%

day-by-day.

Obviously nobody wants to get
cancer, so they leave. You can’t come back for another
30 or 40 years, and

you can’t clean it up.

So New York ceases to exist,
it’s done, which would kill

America, right?

JAKE BURGHART: So where’s
the bomb? SHANE SMITH: Well we said,
where’s the bomb? And he said oh, I buried it in
my mother’s garden in Varna. And we’re like, well, hey,
we’ll give you money.

Let’s go see the bomb.

He was like no, no, we can’t.

We tried to find out, but the
bomb’s still out there, which

is kind of terrifying.

Or there’s other bombs.

I mean, this was part
of the old Soviet

arms dump from Sliven.

There might be 10 other bombs.

God knows who the hell
bought them.

JAKE BURGHART: Wow.

SHANE SMITH: Yeah.

So if you can go buy one of
these things on the black

market, that’s it.

JAKE BURGHART: Which you guys
just went and found. SHANE SMITH: Yeah, we found
the dude who sold it. Then that’s it, that’s
the end of time. Because it could be Osama bin
Laden, it could be some white supremacist dude from Arkansas,
it could be some guy who hates your football
team, whatever it is. I know, why don’t
we know this?

Why aren’t we being told this?


VICE

On the black market in Bulgaria enough money can buy anything from women and drugs to fully functioning nuclear warheads. Shane Smith and Eddy Moretti shop for dirty bombs in the Bulgarian black market. After you see the relative ease with which they were able to meet a real, in the flesh, black market arms dealer, you’ll be stocking up on gas masks and radiation sickness pills. We know we are. Hosted by Shane Smith | Originally released in 2007 at http://vice.com More from Shane Smith: http://www.vice.com/author/shane-smith Follow Shane on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shanesmith30 Check out the VICE Guide to Karachi here: http://bit.ly/Karachi-1 Subscribe for videos that are actually good: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE Check out our full video catalog: http://www.youtube.com/user/vice/videos Videos, daily editorial and more: http://vice.com Like VICE on Facebook: http://fb.com/vice Follow VICE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vice Read our tumblr: http://vicemag.tumblr.com

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