Police looking for Krejcir after blast which kills 2

2013-11-12 21:05

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Johannesburg - Police did not know the whereabouts of businessman Radovan Krejcir following a bomb explosion outside a shop he owns near the Eastgate shopping centre, in Bedfordview, late Tuesday afternoon.

"The scene is still on lock down. Our forensic experts and the bomb squad are still combing the scene," police spokesperson Neville Malila told reporters.

Malila said police did not know whether there were still explosives inside the Money Point shop.

Ekurhuleni emergency services spokesperson William Ntladi said earlier that two people were killed, three were critically injured and two others suffered minor injuries.

The injured were taken to Bedford Gardens Hospital.

Malila said that while the information police had was limited, it was believed a person walked into the shop with a bag, with the bomb inside it.

"Shortly afterwards there was an explosion."

He did not know how many people were inside the shop at the time of the explosion and police would go to the hospital to interview the injured.

‘Mafia tactics’

A Sapa reporter on the scene said bystanders were unwilling to speak to reporters as they feared "mafia tactics".

The explosion took place on the corner of Bradford and Nicol roads, with the intersection closed off to traffic and cordoned off by police.

Eyewitness News reported that the two men killed were close associates of Krejcir, who is currently fighting his extradition to the Czech Republic where he is facing a prison sentence.

Sapa was unable to contact Krecjir.

In July, Krejcir was the target of an apparent bid to kill him outside his Bedfordview office.

"It is alleged that he [Krejcir] arrived at the premises and parked his vehicle," police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said at the time.

"As he was leaving the parking spot, an explosive device was detonated from the back of a vehicle, a VW Polo, parked opposite his vehicle."

Krejcir escaped unharmed.

That blast, in the parking lot of the Money Point gold and diamond exchange's head office, where Tuesday's blast also took place in Bedfordview, left several holes in Krejcir's car.

The VW Polo was stolen in Brixton, Johannesburg, in April.

Krejcir said he heard noises, like bullets being fired, from a car he parked next to.

"I managed to get away and saved my life... someone out there tried to kill me," Krejcir told Sapa at the time.

Break-in

About three weeks earlier, Krejcir's Bedfordview business was broken into and jewellery worth R3m was stolen.

"It is on the same premises where an attempt to kill him was executed. On 3 July, unknown suspects broke into the premises through the roof, cut open a safe, and stole jewellery worth approximately R3m," Dlamini said at the time.

Several men reportedly associated to Krejicir have been shot and killed over the last two and a half years.

Veselin Langanin, 54, was shot dead around 04:00 in his Bedfordview home on 2 November, Malila said at the time.

Langanin was reportedly arrested for armed robbery last year with Krejcir.

Reported drug trafficker Sam Issa, a 49-year-old Lebanese citizen allegedly linked to Krejcir, was shot and killed on 12 October in Bedfordview while waiting in his Audi Q7.

A white Ford Ranger pulled up next to him and the occupants opened fire and killed him.

Krejcir told Sapa the day Issa was killed: "I did not have any association with the man, I only [knew] him as a resident of Bedfordview."

Lolly Jackson, the owner of the Teazers franchise of strip clubs and linked to Krejcir, was shot dead at a house in Edleen near OR Tambo International Airport on 3 May 2010.

Jackson's alleged killer George Luca meanwhile had been granted 40 days to appeal against his extradition to South Africa, it was reported in September.

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Cyprus ruled on 17 September that Luca would be in mortal danger if he returned to South Africa.

The court believed South African authorities would not be able to protect Luca.

Alleged underworld leader Cyril Beeka, 49, was gunned down execution-style by unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle in Bellville, Cape Town on 21 March 2011.

Beeka was allegedly an associate of Krejcir's.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Read more on:    radovan krejcir  |  johannesburg

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