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Bulgarian women who found cameras had modeled for landlord's pizza business

Vanya Samokovareva, 22, and roommate Ralitsa Dzhambazova, 23, both center, who reported the discovery this week of video cameras in their Tuscany Bay apartment, say they have modeled for their landlord’s new business, “Pizza Babes,” which has a website at pizzababe.co where they appear in ads.

Courtesy of pizzababe.co

Vanya Samokovareva, 22, and roommate Ralitsa Dzhambazova, 23, both center, who reported the discovery this week of video cameras in their Tuscany Bay apartment, say they have modeled for their landlord’s new business, “Pizza Babes,” which has a website at pizzababe.co where they appear in ads.

TAMPA — They posed in tall boots, short shorts and little black capes. The two young, attractive Bulgarian women were restaurant owner Raj Armani's "Pizza Babes," the face of his latest business venture.

Vanya Samokovareva, 22, and Ralitsa Dzhambazova, 23, smiled in Ybor City and posed outside Tropicana Field with Rays fans.

"Pizza Babe is a Smoking HOT Super HERO who delivers piping HOT Pizza to YOU on her Babe-mobile!!" promised the company website, pizzababe.co.

The promise of a job had brought the women to the United States back in May, part of a summer-long work abroad trip set up by Armani and Sky Travel, a Bulgarian company, the women said.

Armani set them up in an unfurnished apartment near Westchase, and they modeled in ads for his company, they told Bay News 9. But they weren't paid as much as they had been promised, Dzhambazova said.

On Monday, the two women told deputies they had just discovered devices they thought were motion sensors and smoke detectors were actually tiny hidden cameras placed in their apartment's bedrooms and bathrooms.

They said they were afraid they had been broadcast naked to the world.

The Sheriff's Office is still investigating and doesn't yet know if that occurred, said spokesman Detective Larry McKinnon.

Their investigation has been complicated by the fact that some of the equipment was removed between the time Bay News 9's report ran Tuesday and when detectives returned Wednesday morning. But deputies took pictures of the items Tuesday, and McKinnon said they have enough evidence to move forward.

They plan to trace the cameras' serial numbers and interview anyone who had access to the apartment, located in the Tuscany Bay Apartment Homes complex on Linebaugh Avenue.

McKinnon declined to name any suspects or say if detectives have interviewed Armani.

Armani is listed as the contact for Pizza Babes on the company's website, which displays pictures of the two Bulgarian women.

He is also the owner of Westchase's Bollywood Cafe, an Indian restaurant.

He did not return calls for comment Friday.

The story of the hidden cameras has gained international attention since it broke Tuesday. Some readers have pointed out the apartment's lack of a shower curtain.

Still, detectives do not believe the women had prior knowledge of the cameras.

"We don't have any evidence that this is a ruse," he said.

Times news researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or jvandervelde@sptimes.com.

Bulgarian women who found cameras had modeled for landlord's pizza business 07/29/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011 8:12am]
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