Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir. File photo: Thobile Mathonsi
Johannesburg – Twelve people dead, two on trial and one fighting extradition. They all have one thing in common: convicted Czech fugitive, Radovan Krejcir. But South African law enforcement haven’t been able to nail him for violent crime yet, so they went after him Al Capone style – for tax evasion.
Around 4pm on Friday, the SA Revenue Service served Krejcir with a preservation order which stated that all his assets had been placed under the control of a curator.
Just like Capone – a US gangster thought to be involved in illegal activities including murder, smuggling, prostitution and bootlegging liquor in the 1920s – Krejcir is being investigated for tax evasion.
Sars reportedly acted in terms of the Tax Administration Act based on the view that Krejcir owed more than R59-million in taxes, penalties and interest. However, many of his companies are owned by his wife.
The court order also granted seizure of control of the assets of 15 other entities linked to Krejcir, including his wife and son, and the Money Point pawn business in Bedfordview, which was hit in a bomb attack this week, leaving two people dead.
The businessman and his wife were ordered to hand over all books and records of companies they were directors or members of. Krejcir’s Lamborghini and Porsche were also attached. The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria appointed Sechaba Trust’s Murray Cloete to manage the assets.
“Czech-mate. The corrupt machine that is Krejcir has come to a grinding halt,” said an elated Paul O’Sullivan. “This is the culmination of two years of hard work by Sars and my four-year investigation.”
He said Krejcir was an “evil man” and that he and the rest of South Africa all wanted him out of the country.
“Just go back to the Czech Republic and face the music there – unless you want to go to a South African jail. I hope that from now on when he wants a packet of cigarettes, he has to ask his curator for R30.”
O’Sullivan said he hoped tKrejcir’s legal team would be ordered to pay back all the money that the Czech native had paid them over the years to fight his extradition and other cases.
“He paid them with dirty money. They should pay it all back,” O’Sullivan said.
This is the second time that Sars has tried to investigate Krejcir. In a high-profile bust in 2011, his Lamborghini and Ferrari, among other assets, were confiscated.
However, specialist investigator Mike Bolhuis believes that this is it for the fugitive and he has warned other underworld figures to come forward and tell police what they know.
“The house of cards is about to fall. This is all going to be over soon,” said Bolhuis, referring to the bomb blast that killed Ronny Bvuma (Ronny Smith) and Czech fugitive Jan “John” Charvat and critically injured five staff members at Krejcir’s Money Point shop, and the several other murders which have rocked the suburb of Bedfordview recently.
Bolhuis speculated that either Krejcir was linked to all the murders or he will be the next one killed.
Although there have been no new leads as to who was responsible for the bomb blast, Bolhuis believed that the bomb had been set off accidentally.
“From my investigation, I have learnt that Radovan had ordered a man from Cape Town to deliver a bomb and some weapons to Money Point.
“The bomb went off in the store when Ronny Bvuma collected it.
“I understand that Radovan had requested the bomb and some weapons for future purposes.”
Bolhuis said that the bomb blast had indicated that crime in the underworld had “gone completely out of control now”.
“It shows that these underworld figures have resorted to using European Mafia styles. The European Mafia are the most dangerous in the world and they use bombs to kill their targets or to destroy information or evidence.”
He said that he had spoken to Krejcir a few hours before the bomb blast.
“Radovan called me to chat about Veselin Laganin who had been gunned down (at Wedgewood Green Complex) a week ago. He said he was afraid that he was going to be next and that the person responsible for the murder must be tracked down. I urged Radovan to co-operate with me so we could sit down and deal with each case one by one. We had an argument and I told him that he needed to come forward and co-operate with the authorities as well. But I didn’t hear from him again.”
In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, Krejcir broke his silence about the blast on Thursday. He said he was working with police and had even offered a reward for information that could help find those responsible for what he called “attacks on his life”.
“I’m disappointed, to be honest. I’ve already spoken to the investigating officer and I made it clear I was prepared to offer a reward for any information that could help.”
Krejcir said it was unlikely that he would turn state witness in any of the cases.
“I don’t think so because I have nothing to say against anyone. But let’s see how the investigation goes.”
He said he believed that he was under attack but he didn’t know who was targeting him or whether the crimes were linked. – Saturday Star