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Constantia killings — police ask public to help trace two suspects in 2023 Bulgarian murder mystery

Constantia killings — police ask public to help trace two suspects in 2023 Bulgarian murder mystery
Crime scene experts process a multiple murder scene where killers targeted Bulgarians Krasimir Kamenov, his wife Gergana and two of their employees in Constantia, Cape Town on 25 May 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

In May last year, Krasimir Kamenov and three others from Bulgaria were assassinated in the upmarket Cape Town suburb of Constantia. Now police have revealed that six suspects fled the scene and they have issued photographs of two men who may have been involved.

 Two men may hold clues that could unravel what exactly led to the murders of Krasimir Kamenov, his wife, and two employees in a Constantia home last year.

All four were originally from Bulgaria.

Police are urging the public to get in contact if they have information about the two people depicted in these images. (Photo: South African Police Service)

Constantia killings suspects

The duo depicted this may have information about the murders of four individuals in a Constantia home in May 2023.(Photo: South African Police Service)

The killings, reported on locally and internationally, exposed extensive global criminal issues and sparked a flurry of theories — ranging from illicit diamond dealings to local gang involvement and international political plots — about why the four were targeted.

Read more in Daily Maverick: SA caught in Bulgaria’s underworld web of dirty global politics as ‘links’ between oligarch and Prigozhin emerge

On Friday, 8 March 2024, nearly a year after the murders, the South African Police Service (SAPS) issued a statement implying they could be making a breakthrough.

‘Six suspects fled’

Police spokesperson Anelisiwe Manyana said officers hoped the public would help them in tracing two people “who are suspected to have been involved” in a shooting that happened on 25 May last year.

“According to reports four people were shot and killed in Constantia and six suspects were spotted fleeing the scene in a blue Hyundai and white VW Golf GTI,” Manyana said.

“Later two people were seen under a bridge on the N1 driving a white VW Passat and the same VW Golf GTI from the scene.

“It is believed that these two can assist the police in the investigation of the murders mentioned above.”

On Friday, the SAPS issued two images of the people they suspected were involved in the shooting.

Captured on camera

The images appear to be stills from CCTV footage.

In one image a man wearing bright red pants, a white vest and black jacket stands frowning outside a white car along the side of a road.

He appears to be clutching an item in his right hand.

In the second image, it appears the same man is interacting with a second man wearing denim jeans and a long-sleeved black top.

Manyana on Friday encouraged anyone with information on the duo to contact Lieutenant Colonel Dean Kiewiets from the Provincial Serious and Violent Crimes Unit on 082 3022 952 or CrimeStop on 08600 10111.

While the police’s statement on Friday did not name those who had been shot on 25 May last year, Daily Maverick has previously reported that Kamenov, his wife Gergana, as well as two of their employees also from Bulgaria, were murdered in Constantia on that day.

Western Cape police had identified the two 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).

Wanted in Bulgaria

Daily Maverick previously 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.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Constantia killings – Bulgaria’s forewarning to SA and a global billion-dollar crypto scam

The embassy had 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”.

He had been accused of being involved in the killing of a former policeman, Lyubomir Ivanov, who was fatally shot in Sofia in March 2023.

Based on what the Bulgarian embassy said, South African authorities were aware of the fact Kamenev was a wanted suspect by the time of his murder.

Following the killings, it had also emerged that more Bulgarian suspects wanted by police could be based in South Africa.

Cryptoqueen suspicions

Daily Maverick previously reported that Kamenov may have had information about Ruja Ignatova, of Bulgaria, who is among the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’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 been providing, information about her to the US in the run-up to his assassination.

Ignatova’s younger brother Konstantin Ignatov, who was also involved in OneCoin, previously visited South Africa.

Daily Maverick understands this led to some suspicions about whether Ignatova herself had links to this country.

State Capture claims

Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s former chief prosecutor, Ivan Geshev, who was dismissed from that post last year, had been vocal about Kamenov’s murder.

He previously publicly claimed that Kamenov was involved in driving an alleged State Capture-style plot to have him removed from office.

About six weeks before the murders in Constantia, the prosecutor’s office in Bulgaria had publicised 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.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Gangsters in government: State Capture parallels between South African and Bulgarian criminals

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.

But there were counter suspicions that some of the law enforcers were involved in dubious political dealings. DM

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