AGE OF THE ASSASSIN
Constantia killings — ‘oligarchs in SA’ plus other curious details linked to the Krasimir Kamenov case
Nearly four months ago, Krasimir Kamenov and three other people from Bulgaria were murdered at a Cape Town home. Since then, some strange reports have surfaced, including that his killers were allegedly wearing uniforms from a US crime-fighting agency.
An exclusive follow-up article will be published in this weekend’s Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.
More theories and suspicions are surfacing about Krasimir Kamenov, who was murdered along with three other people from Bulgaria in Cape Town nearly four months ago.
Kamenov, his wife, Gergana, and two of their employees were fatally shot at a home in the upmarket suburb of Constantia on 25 May.
Police have identified the employees as Slava Sergieva and Dean Evgeniev (although several media reports have named him as Dean Genov), who was Kamenov’s bodyguard at the time.
No arrests have been made.
Bulgaria’s former chief prosecutor, Ivan Geshev, who was dismissed from that post earlier this year, recently again added his voice to matters he suggests surround the case.
He had previously stated that Kamenov was driving a State Capture-style plot to have him removed from office.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Gangsters in government: State Capture parallels between South African and Bulgarian criminals
About six weeks before the murders in Constantia, the prosecutor’s office in Bulgaria published an alleged bundle of evidence suggesting that Kamenov was among a group of Bulgarian men who were monitoring those moving in high-level Bulgarian political circles.
It was alleged the group was planning a US and European Union-based plot to oust some of Bulgaria’s top law enforcers, presumably to derail investigations they were busy with.
However, there were counter-suspicions that some of the law enforcers were involved in dodgy political dealings.
‘Oligarchs in SA’
Geshev took to Facebook recently and again referenced Kamenov.
On 5 September he said that Bulgarian “oligarchs” in Dubai, Serbia and South Africa were expected to return to their home country.
Attached to the post were pictures, including an Interpol Red Notice for Kamenov.
The Red Notice — an international request for authorities to arrest a listed figure — against Kamenov had said he was wanted by Bulgaria in connection with a murder threat, murder and extortion.
He was accused of being involved in the killing of a former policeman, Lyubomir Ivanov, who was fatally shot in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, in March last year.
Another image attached to Geshev’s Facebook post was that of Vasil Bozhkov — a businessman who faces several criminal charges and who was arrested in Bulgaria last month after he returned there following a three-year self-imposed exile in Dubai.
In June 2021, the US Treasury Department sanctioned individuals including Bozhkov, whose name it spelt as Vassil Bojkov.
It described Bozhkov as “a Bulgarian businessman and oligarch, [who] has bribed government officials on several occasions”.
Meanwhile, Daily Maverick recently reported that more Bulgarian suspects wanted by police may be in South Africa and are possibly linked to Kamenov.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Interpol on the hunt for Bulgarian criminal suspects ‘linked’ to SA and web of global organised crime
Several theories have emerged about the motive behind the murders in Constantia and about Kamenov himself.
Kamenov had SA citizenship
Kamenov was a South African citizen when he was murdered.
The detail about his citizenship is contained in a response to a parliamentary question.
Liezl van der Merwe of the IFP asked Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi when Kamenov was given a visa.
A response, dated 9 June 2023, said: “Mr Krasimir Kamenov was issued with a relative’s visa to join his spouse and subsequently obtained permanent residence in the Republic of South Africa in 2004.
“He was a naturalised citizen at the time of his death.”
This suggests that Kamenov was in South Africa for much longer than initially thought.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Constantia killings – Bulgaria’s forewarning to SA and a global billion-dollar crypto scam
Daily Maverick reported that the Embassy of Bulgaria in Pretoria said Kamenov had been living in this country since 2008 and had travelled using a passport in his own name.
The embassy also said: “The South African authorities were informed on 06.04 2023 that Mr Kamenov is wanted in order to be arrested and extradited with regard to an Interpol Red Notice.”
This would have meant that South Africa was aware of the fact he was a wanted suspect, as well as that he was living in this country as a citizen, by the time of his murder.
Daily Maverick reported that Kamenov may have had information about Ruja Ignatova, of Bulgaria, who is among the US FBI’s top 10 wanted suspects.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Constantia killings and FBI-wanted ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova’s intriguing SA links
Ignatova allegedly headed a global crypto scam that operated under various names, including OneCoin and OneLife.
Kamenov may have planned to provide, or had been providing, information about her to the US.
‘US was not involved’
Several publications in Bulgaria reported that Kamenov’s killers had worn US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) uniforms.
This detail, though, was not attributed to anyone. (There were CCTV cameras at the Kamenov home in Constantia; however, it is not clear if any footage of the murders was captured.)
Stacy Barrios, the public affairs officer at the US consulate-general in Cape Town, last month told Daily Maverick: “We are aware of the incident you described [the four murders in Constantia].
“No US government law enforcement agency was involved in either the incident or any investigation thereof. We refer you to the South African Police Service.”
The Western Cape police told Daily Maverick the killings were still being investigated. DM