What are Radovan Krejcir's links to the criminal underworld?

2015-04-08 18:34
Radovan Krejcir at the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court. (Jacaranda News, Twitter)

Radovan Krejcir at the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court. (Jacaranda News, Twitter)

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Johannesburg - In the past, Czech fugitive and businessman Radovan Krejcir has scoffed at suggestions that he is “some big Mafia boss from the Eastern Bloc”.

Yet his name continues to float to the surface of South Africa’s otherwise murky underworld.

Most recently, the finger has been pointed at Krejcir for the 2010 murder of our “King of Sleaze”.

For five years, Cypriot George Louka has remained the prime suspect in the murder of Teazers’ strip club boss Lolly Jackson.

But according to an affidavit put forward by Louka in November - and revealed by City Press - it was Krejcir who pulled the trigger.

With Krejcir already in prison awaiting trial for another murder and Louka’s trial postponed, News24 looks into Krejcir’s web of intrigue across South Africa.

Krejcir eluded a police raid on his Czech villa in 2005 and turned up in South Africa in 2007. He was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport on an Interpol “red notice” while travelling with a Seychelles passport, which the authorities later claimed was fake.

A Czech application for his extradition was unsuccessful and he settled in South Africa.

George Louka: the middle man

Also known as George Smith, Louka met Krejcir in April 2007 when the pair shared a cell at Kempton Park police station as Krejcir awaited his extradition hearing.

After their release, Louka - who was a crack addict and petty criminal - reportedly helped Krejcir get connected, introducing him to a number of people, including Jackson.

Louka later acted as the middleman in a complex money laundering scheme, allegedly hatched between Krejcir and Jackson.

After Jackson was killed in 2010, Louka allegedly phoned Gauteng crime intelligence boss Joey Mabasa and confessed to the murder.

But he fled the country and for two years was on the run. Later located in Cyprus he was extradited and returned to South Africa last year to face trial for Jackson’s murder.

It was reported that Louka had made claims, in five affidavits, that Krejcir shot Jackson during a fight over R740 000.

He reportedly claimed Krejcir kicked Jackson after firing the first shot and screamed: "You want to know who I am, I will show you who I am, you fucking cockroach.", according to the Sunday Times.

He said Jackson begged for his life, but Krejcir pumped several more shots into his body.

Louka's lawyer has claimed that his client is on his death bed and has insisted that he be moved from the prison hospital to a state or private hospital.

According to reports, Louka has been diagnosed with inoperable stage-four lung cancer and has been hospitalised with severe breathing problems.

Speaking to reporters after his court appearance on a separate matter at the Germiston Magistrate's Court last Wednesday, Krejcir denied claims made by Louka that he pulled the trigger in Jackson's murder.

"Well I am terribly sorry about his sickness, but I hope he will have enough courage before he dies to say that I wasn't involved in the Lolly Jackson murder and I'm hoping he will [reveal] the people who convinced him to make a deal with the State and involving me in this story."

Lolly Jackson: the strip club boss

Introduced by Louka, Jackson and Krejcir were frequent companions.

In an interview with Rapport in 2010, Krejcir said of Jackson: “Lolly and I were very good friends because of my sickness with cars. I love cars. He loved cars. Every week we rented Kyalami [racetrack] for two hours to have some adrenaline because I cannot travel, I cannot do fuck-all. I really love these toys.”

But following Jackson’s murder that same year, police considered Krejcir a “prime suspect”.

City Press established that shortly before his death, Jackson was approached to give evidence against Krejcir as part of an investigation into the alleged money-laundering scheme.

Police believed that Jackson may have been killed to silence him and that the alleged triggerman, Louka, was part of a wider conspiracy.

Alekos Panayi: the Cypriot banker

A SAPS investigation into the money laundering operation began through an affidavit made by a Cypriot banker at Laiki Bank, Alekos Andreou Panayi.

In his affidavit, Panayi explained that he had been transferring funds offshore for Jackson and that, acting on Jackson’s behalf, he arranged the transaction swop of R1 million for euros.

The funds were to be transferred to an account in the name of George Smith (Louka) in Cyprus, but Krejcir held the signing power over the account.

But the bank smelled a rat and refused to complete the transaction, saying it appeared to be money laundering as Krejcir was a fugitive.

According to The Star, Panayi claimed that shortly afterwards he got a call from Jackson accusing him of stealing the money and threatening his life.

Uwe Gemballa: the supercar trader

German Uwe Gemballa, a luxury car dealer, disappeared on a business trip to South Africa in 2010.

He was reportedly here to meet Jerome Safi, a close associate of Krejcir, with a view to opening a franchise of his business in South Africa.

But eight months after arriving, his decomposing body, wrapped in black plastic and duct tape, was unearthed in a shallow grave in Lotus Gardens.

Krejcir allegedly boasted to his private doctor that he was behind the kidnapping and murder - with Dr Marian Tupy claiming that Krejcir made the boast during a visit to his consulting rooms, 10 days after Gemballa disappeared.

Three men were later linked to the murder.

Brett Kebble: the mining magnate

Mining magnate Brett Kebble was gunned down in Johannesburg in 2005 - two years before Krejcir’s arrival in South Africa.

But Krejcir is reported to have “inherited” a network of thugs and crooks who surrounded Kebble.

Mikey Schultz later testified that he killed Kebble in a bizarre assisted suicide plan.

Schultz and his two accomplices - Nigel McGurk and Fiazel Smith - were given immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying against Glenn Agliotti, the man who allegedly masterminded Kebble's murder. Agliotti was eventually acquitted.

In 2012, Schultz was linked to Krejcir after allegedly pointing a firearm at one of the Czech’s employees known as Milosh.

Glenn Agliotti: the drug trafficker

Convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti took a R400 000 loan from a company owned by Krejcir’s wife Katerina, reports revealed in 2013.

Agliotti admitted to Beeld newspaper that he had taken the loan from Groep Twee Beleggings, the same company that also lent money to the Germiston head of organised crime, Colonel Francois Steyn.

Agliotti said he was an acquaintance of Krejcir, rather than a friend, adding that the loan was a “normal business transaction” which he had paid off with interest.

The following year, forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan claimed that Agliotti had been offered R5 million to “spring” Krejcir out of jail.

Cyril Beeka: the bouncer-turned-businessman

Krejcir’s security consultant and friend, bouncer-turned-businessman Cyril Beeka was gunned down in Cape Town in 2011.

Reports claim that that the relationship between the two men had soured, pointing to an incident in a Cape Town nightclub in November 2010 when Beeka allegedly attacked Krejcir.

Though Krejcir denied the attack, according to a report in the Sunday Argus, the Czech later “put out a hit” on Beeka.

Beeka, who was said to confront Krejcir, was killed not long after the incident.

A raid on Krejcir’s house in 2011 revealed a hit list, including the names of Beeka, O’Sullivan and a state prosecutor.

Krejcir however denied any involvement, telling reporters: “I never been involved in this Beeka murder and in the end of the day, Beeka was my friend, very good friend of mine – I felt very uncomfortable because I couldn’t go to his funeral.”

Joey Mabasa: the top cop

In 2011, senior crime intelligence officer Major General Joey Mabasa was sacked from SAPS and placed under investigation for bribery and corruption links to Krejcir.

According to Krejcir, the pair were introduced by his attorney Ian Small-Smith, after the Czech expressed fears of being kidnapped.

But a slew of publicity around their relationship later led to Mabasa’s sacking.

Krejcir denied reports in the Mail & Guardian that he had been seen paying Mabasa, and that the crime intelligence unit was tapping Hawks members involved in investigating Krejcir.

Meanwhile, the newspaper also revealed that Krejcir’s wife, Katarina, and Mabasa’s wife, Dorcas, started a company together in 2009 called Radlochro, which they became co-directors of.

Read more on:    krejcir  |  brett kebble  |  joey mabasa  |  glenn agliotti  |  radovan  |  cyril beeka  |  lolly jackson  |  george louka

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