An allegation of murder may seem like a monumental setback, but Radovan Krejcir finds it to be just one more ring in the circus that has surrounded him since fleeing the Czech Republic for the sunnier climes of South Africa.
The latest accusations arise from the signed statement of a self-professed hitman who claims that Krejcir ordered six assassinations across several European countries. A police agency called the Hawks reported that the unnamed confessor admitted to being hired by the expatriate to kill an old rival in Prague, where Krejcir currently faces a litany of charges of activities in connection with organized crime.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known colloquially as the Hawks, are a national parapolice force that pursues organized crime and white-collar corruption. The Hawks were formed in 2009 by the dissolution and scavenging of prior enforcement agencies to exercise a multilateral approach to combating mob activities and private fraud. It is unknown at this time how they captured the hitman or why he confessed to the murders and murder attempts without a trial.
The Hawks are not the only government agency cavorting in the circus surrounding the fugitive as they investigate the allegations of conspiracy to commit murder. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has seized Krejcir’s house and 11 vehicles in connection to a fraud investigation. Ivan Savov, a business manager that worked directly for Krejcir, was arrested last week on charges of defrauding a security company of R10 million. Thus far, authorities have sequestered the assets of 14 businesses owned by Krejcir, as well as his wife’s property. Apart from the fraud issue, SARS claims that he owes over R60 million in unpaid taxes.
Furthermore, a leading police officer in Johannesburg’s organized crime unit has been found to have accepted a massive loan of R408,000 that originated from a company owned by Krejcir. The detective admits no wrongdoing and claims to have been ignorant of the man’s involvement with the financier as he sought seed money to found his own security company.
Krejcir has been the target of an assassination attempt himself. A remote-controlled shotgun was extruded from the license plate holder of a Volkswagen that was parked in front of one of his places of business. The weapons discharged as Krejcir stepped into the street, and, although a number of shots were fired, none struck their intended victim. The vehicle then burst into flames; investigators do not know whether the explosion was an attempt to cover up evidence or the result of a malfunction. Krejcir was quoted at the time describing his life as full of “James Bond stuff”, despite maintaining an assertion that he has no idea who would target him or why.
Meanwhile, friends of the embattled Czech have been dropping like flies. Most recently, a Lebanese immigrant known as “Cripple Sam” Issa was gunned down at a stoplight by an unknown assailant who then sped away in his vehicle. Krejcir and Cripple Sam were known to be associates, but Krejcir has distanced himself from relation to the slain man since the attack last month. One of Krejcir’s pawn shop businesses – which SARS believes was a key operand in his tax evasion through laundering – was bombed on November 12th. The blast killed two close colleagues and injured several more. Authorities infer that the exchanges of violence have something to do with a turf war between Krejcir’s men and rival gangs, but have had trouble gathering evidence to corroborate. The hitman’s confession, if it survives judicial review, would be a significant clue to tie these incidents into a coherent narrative.
For now, the circus continues. Although Krejcir has formally requested asylum in South Africa, the fugitive from Czech justice does little to recommend himself to his erstwhile home. The new allegations of attempted murder are just one more flaming hoop for him to jump through as authorities wait for him to trip up.
By Daniel Annear