Search for Sertov called off after former security agency chief returns to Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s former State Agency for National Security chief Petko Sertov is off the missing persons list after returning to the country in a late-night border crossing from Greece on January 12.

Sertov was declared a missing person after his wife contacted police after he left home on December 5.

Having drawn cash and left behind both his mobile phones, Sertov departed by car, his failure to return triggering a domestic and international search. At one point in the early days of the search, a helicopter was used to scan forested land close to Bulgaria’s southern border after claims that Sertov’s car had been seen heading in that direction.

In late December, Bulgarian authorities confirmed that it had been established that a day earlier, Sertov had stayed briefly at a hotel in Athens.

No further word came, beyond senior Interior Ministry officials hinting that Sertov’s absence had something to do with personal life and appealing to him to formally contact police so that the search for him could be terminated.

According to Bulgarian Interior Minister Vesselin Vuchkov, Sertov re-entered Bulgaria at 1.30am on January 12, crossing the Kulata border checkpoint travelling in a car driven by his brother and accompanied by his wife.

Vuchkov said that Sertov had told authorities that he had been in a minor traffic accident in Greece and was returning to Bulgaria after some medical treatment.

Bulgarian-language media quoted Emilia Sertova as saying that her husband had some health problems and “now we will take care of his health. This is all I want to say”.

Reports said that the Sertov couple were not at their home in Sofia and apparently were staying elsewhere, Sertova not having been seen at their Sofia block of flats for some days.



The Sofia Globe staff

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