Sunday, March 27, 2011
More woes for the shady tycoon
Radovan Krejcir's life on the run takes a serious dip
Mar 26, 2011 11:42 PM | By SASHNI PATHER
He says he is the son of one of the richest women in the Czech Republic - printing mogul Nadeza Krejcirova - and claims his father, Lambert, was murdered and had his body dissolved in acid in 2002, for political reasons.
A DOG'S LIFE: A glossy calendar captured the lavish lifestyle to which Krejcir and his wife Katerina became accustomed
Asked why he chose South Africa, Krejcir said: 'Because it has the best constitution in the world'
Krejcir: four years of murder, sleaze and mayhem
And this is why Radovan Krejcir, who says he holds a master's degree in economics, has done nothing but try to escape the authorities for the last six years.
In 2005, as police in the Czech capital of Prague swooped on his palatial villa, the 41-year-old abandoned the multimillion-euro house in the city's elite suburb of Cernosic, claiming a "political conspiracy" against his family.
In 2007, when the heat got too much in the Seychelles where he had sought - or, as some say, bought - refuge, Krejcir again fled.
This time the father of two travelled by yacht to Madagascar, where he boarded a flight to South Africa.
He was on Interpol's wanted list and - although he was travelling under the name Egbert Jules Savy - was arrested on arrival at OR Tambo International Airport on April 21, 2007, and released on R1-million bail.He launched a bid for political asylum, claiming he was being persecuted in his own country.
When asked why he chose South Africa, Krejcir said: "Because this country has the best constitution in the world."
While in detention he landed up in a cell with George Louca, a Cypriot immigrant who introduced Krejcir to the South Africa's underworld.
Louca was hired by Krejcir and last year became a prime suspect in the murder of strip club boss Lolly Jackson, who was gunned down at a house in Johannesburg in May.
Jackson had access to cash - something the Czech fugitive found himself scrambling for with his assets frozen in various countries due to the Interpol notice that he was sought on charges of fraud and kidnapping in the Czech Republic .
Krejcir later met controversial security boss Cyril Beeka, who was assassinated in Cape Town this week. The two became close, and Beeka on occasion facilitated Krejcir's meetings with journalists.
Krejcir lives in a R20-million, four-bedroom mansion in Kloof Street in Bedfordview, east of Johannesburg.
A glossy calender at the house portrays him and his wife, Katerina Krejcirova, as a Vanity Fair cover couple.
His garages hold a multimillion-rand collection of cars, including a Porsche 911, Lamborghini Mercielago. Ferrari 430 Spider and Mercedes CL 63 AMG.
It was in fact through a shared passion for cars that he, Jackson and the late German supercar specialist Uwe Gemballa came to know each other.
The friendship with Jackson was handy as Krejcir's lifestyle cost money he didn't always have and Jackson needed to get cash out of the country illegally.
The pair, with the help of a banker Alekos Panyani who facilitated a series of illicit financial transactions, were allegedly involved in a R9-million money-laundering scheme .
When Jackson was killed, Krejcir showed the Sunday Times a business plan drawn up for an R80-million deal for him to buy Jackson's Teazers clubs and assets.
Eight days after Jackson gave Krejcir R2-million, he was shot dead
Two days later, Krejcirtold the Sunday Times: "George (Louca) walked into the (Johannesburg restaurant) Harbour (Cafe) and told me he had shot Jackson. He bought a packet of Camel filter and left."
Louca remains on the run.
Another murder that put Krejcir in the spotlight is that of Gemballa.
Months before Jackson died, he and Krejcir were in talks over a Gemballa franchise deal. A Krejcir associate, businessman Jerome Safi, was also involved.
In February last year, three days after Gemballa e-mailed Safi, Gemballa travelled to South Africa - and vanished the day he arrived at OR Tambo International.
His body was found in a shallow grave in Atteridegville, Pretoria, months later.
He had been held captive for days at the home of another Krejcir associate, Bulgarian national Ivan Savov, who claimed he was out of the country at the time.
Krejcir said at the time he met Gemballa in 1994 in Stuttgart, Germany, and, although he was encouraged to back a local Gemballa deal, "nothing came of it".
He has repeatedly denied being involved in the murder.
Beeka and Krejcir were business partners and would often be seen drinking Jagermeister together.
When police raided Krejcir's house on Tuesday night, they said they found a "hit list" of four names, including that of Beeka .
Speaking about his chequered past, Krejcir said the charges in the Czech Republic were political and "trumped up".
In his submission for refugee status in South Africa, he mentioned his mother's printing business, saying it was the "largest of its kind in Europe".
According to media reports from the Czech Republic, Krejcir's 63-year-old mother was the country's 10th richest woman last year, with assets worth R120-million.
Yet it is over a R4.5-million fraudulent insurance claim that her son was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning.
His urologist, Dr Marian Tupy, pleaded guilty to fraud last week for falsifying medical documents stating Krejcir had cancer. Liberty Life paid out on the policy.
Krejcir also runs a chain of pawn shops that trade in gold and diamonds in Bedfordview.
Krejcir is no worse than the crooked cops that protect him and eat out of his hands!!
If there were no crooked cops there would be little to no crime!