A grenade launcher was fired at the car transporting Alexei Petrov near his Sofia home on the morning of October 29 2015, the second murder attempt against the former State Agency for National Security consultant, former organised crime accused and former presidential candidate in the past year.
Petrov was not injured and nor was anyone travelling with him, according to the Interior Ministry. Reports said that while a grenade hit his car, the occupants were protected by the vehicle being armoured.
Called to the National Assembly to brief MPs on the incident, Interior Minister Roumyana Buchvarova said that there had been a call to emergency number 112 at 8.54am about an attack on Petrov’s car in Cherni Vruh Boulevard in Sofia’s Krustova Vada residential area.
Police cordoned off the scene of the incident. Eyewitnesses were being questioned and a car, reported to be a red Opel Vectra, was being sought in connection with the attack.
Petrov was arrested in February 2010 as part of the high-profile Octopus operation against organised crime. He was charged with racketeering and extortion. Petrov was put under house arrested. The charges were later reduced to racketeering and extortion of two individuals. In February 2014, the special court decided the terminate the investigation into the “Octopus” crime group.
Petrov formerly was employed by an anti-terrorism squad until the early 1990s. He worked with secret counterintelligence and SANS. He was a co-founder of insurance companies and in the late 1990s, was reported to have been involved in Budoinvest Ltd, along with Boiko Borissov, now prime minister, and Roumen Nikolov.
In 2011, Petrov stood as an independent in Bulgaria’s presidential elections, and was eliminated at the first round.
In the past year, there was another attempted murder attack on him, near the Spartak swimming pool complex in Sofia.
On October 29, Petrov told Bulgarian National Radio that the grenade attack was a “mistake”.
He had received no threats and did not believe that he was a target for assassination. Nor did he believe that his business dealings were the reason for the attack, Petrov said.