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Constantia killings — the Kamenov jewel collection and web of companies connected via murders

Constantia killings — the Kamenov jewel collection and web of companies connected via murders
Gergana Kamenova as depicted in an Instagram post on the Kamenov Collection account.(Photo: Instagram) | Krasimir Kamenov was one of four people murdered in Constantia, Cape Town, on 25 May 2023. He was wanted by Bulgarian authorities. (Photo: Interpol website. Image sharpened by AI)

Last week police issued images of suspects they believe were involved in the Cape Town killings of Krasimir Kamenov, his wife and two others from Bulgaria. Daily Maverick can now reveal that the couple was involved in business linked to another murdered duo, and diamonds.

The Kamenov Collection, based on its Instagram account, was an online business that offered diamonds, gemstones and custom-designed jewellery.

On 3 May 2019, a post was made on that account.

It included a photograph of Gergana Kamenova and was captioned: “Style, elegance and sophistication. This collection is curated by Gerry herself. Mother of three, Miss Bulgaria and Universe 2007, model, wife and style queen. We can’t wait to show you these unique luxury pieces!”

The Kamenov Collection is a jewellery business that was run on Instagram.

Four years and a few weeks later, Kamenova was murdered in her home in the upmarket Cape Town suburb of Constantia with her husband, Krasimir Kamenov, and two of their employees. 

At the time of the shootings Kamenov was wanted in Bulgaria in connection with a murder.

The Constantia killings sparked a flurry of theories about why the four were murdered – from Kamenov’s name surfacing in international State Capture-type plots, to local gangsters targeting him and Kamenova as part of a robbery, and possible ties to dodgy diamond dealings.

The South African Police Service is yet to divulge details of the motive behind the murders.

Constantia killings Kamenov

Krasimir Kamenov was one of four people murdered in Constantia on 25 May 2023. He was wanted by Bulgarian authorities. (Photo: Interpol website)

Tracing suspects

Last week, in what pointed to a potential breakthrough in the case, police asked the public to help them trace two suspects they believe were involved in the shootings.

They issued images showing the two men they were after.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Constantia killings — police ask public to help trace two suspects in 2023 Bulgarian murder mystery

Western Cape police spokesperson Anelisiwe Manyana had also said: “Six suspects were spotted fleeing the scene in a blue Hyundai and VW Golf GTI. 

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

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

The Kamenov Collection

Daily Maverick can now reveal that fuelling theories that Kamenov and Kamenova may have been targeted over diamond dealings, is that Kamenova was involved in selling jewellery via the business, the Kamenov Collection.

Based on its Instagram account, it appeared the Kamenov Collection was initially meant to offer “authentic pre-owned luxury items from… premium brands”.

It subsequently only advertised pieces of jewellery, including various diamond rings.

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

Daily Maverick previously reported that according to a website relating to Kamenova’s work in the beauty sector, she had a “certificate of completion” from the Academy of Gemmology in relation to “practical diamond grading”.

Constantia killings

Crime scene experts process a multiple murder scene involving four foreigners in Constantia, Cape Town, on 25 May 2023. Two women and two men, believed to be from Bulgaria, were reportedly discovered with gunshot wounds. (Photo: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

Another couple killed

As for Kamenov, he was linked to another couple, also originally from Bulgaria, who were murdered close to where he and Kamenova were killed – and who also appeared to be linked to diamond dealings.

Angelo (also spelled Anguel) Dimov and his wife Nezabravka (also known as “Nessy” or “Nessie”) Peeva were assassinated on 12 February 2018.

They were shot in a home they were renting in the Cape Town suburb of Bergvliet, about 5km from Constantia.

At the time, Dimov had been facing criminal charges relating to a credit card scam in a case dating back to 2008. 

There were also suspicions in police circles that he was involved in illegal drugs and diamonds.

The Sunday Times previously reported that 10 months before Dimov and Peeva were murdered, they “tried to sell uncut diamonds worth millions of dollars in the Far East”.

Connected companies

Daily Maverick can now reveal that Kamenov and Dimov were in business together – they were once members of a company named Bull’s-Eye Solutions 102.

Dimov also ran an import and export company that appeared to be named after his wife.

He and Peeva were once members of a trading company, another member of which apparently set up and sold shelf companies.

Daily Maverick has established that the same individual was previously a member of a company that Kamenov was linked to and was also a member of another company that involved a suspect linked to a 28s gang case – who was subsequently murdered in Cape Town.

In this journalist’s book, Clash of the Cartels: Unmasking the global drug kingpins stalking South Africa, a chapter focusing on Bulgaria said there were suspicions that Dimov had worked with the 28s gang and a steroid smuggler, Brian Wainstein. 

That suggested that Kamenov, through his links to Dimov, may have also moved in those circles.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Charges against murdered ‘Steroid King’ reveal a global web of crime cases

Wainstein, also known as the Steroid King, was killed in August 2017 inside his home in Constantia, the same suburb in which Kamenov, his wife and three others were murdered.

Several local suspects are expected to go on trial in connection with Wainstein’s murder.

Ruja Ignatova

Ruja Ignatova is one of the FBI’s top 10 wanted suspects. She allegedly ran a billion-dollar crypto scam that was based in Bulgaria but operated globally. (Photo: FBI website. Sharpened with AI)

Wanted cryptoqueen

Meanwhile, in the Constantia killings case, Daily Maverick previously reported that at the time of his murder, 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 known by names including OneCoin and OneLife.

Her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, who was also involved in OneCoin, previously visited South Africa.

Konstantin Ignatov. (Photo:Instagram)

Constantia killings Konstantin Ignatov

Konstantin Ignatov. (Photo:Instagram)

Ignatov was arrested in March 2019 at Los Angeles International Airport and later convicted in the US for his role in OneCoin.

Last week it was widely reported that Ignatova was released after serving about three years behind bars.

An Instagram account in his name showed two photographs of him posted recently – the first apparent activity on the account since March 2019, suggesting he was indeed out of jail. DM

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