Inquiry Fingers Czech Fugitive As Part Of A Money-broking Network
Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir can expect a tax bill of around R100 million after an SA Revenue Service (Sars) inquiry found he was part of a money-broking network that included some of the country’s most notorious mobsters.
Krejcir, who survived a bizarre “assassination” attempt this week, was the focus of a three-year Sars investigation and a confidential secret tax inquiry into his wealth.
Sars has, according to sources, valued Krejcir’s wealth in South Africa at around R130 million and he is now waiting for his tax bill, which will be close to R100 million, including interest and penalties.
City Press understands Krecjir has pleaded poverty, claiming his wife supported him financially.
No assets have been registered in his name.
But Sars discovered the existence of Groep Twee Beleggings, a company registered in the name of his wife Katerina Krejcirova.
Groep Twee Beleggings was established in April 2006 when Krejcir was still living in the Seychelles, on the run from Czech police for a host of crimes.
Groep Twee became the conduit Krejcir used to set up a money-exchange scheme that counted murdered sleaze boss Lolly Jackson among its participants.
The name of convicted druglord Glenn Agliotti also features.
Before he came to South Africa in 2007, Krecjir amassed a fortune in overseas bank accounts. Jackson, meanwhile, wanted to shift his money abroad without alerting the taxman or the Reserve Bank.
So he “lent” money to Groep Twee. Krejcir, using his foreign bank accounts, repaid him in euros or dollars in countries such as Greece.
On paper, say sources, it appeared as though Groep Twee was deeply indebted to Jackson and others, although it was nothing but a scheme to evade tax and launder money.
Details of the money ring – known universally as a Hawala (the Arabic word for transfer) – emerged in the high court last October when Sars applied for Agliotti’s provisional sequestration.
In court papers, Sars said Agliotti and Groep Twee entered into loan agreements and signed acknowledgements of debt.
Agliotti confirmed this week that he was a witness against Krejcir in his “massive” section 74 hearing.
He said he only once borrowed money from Groep Twee – R400 000, which he had repaid.
Groep Twee also “borrowed” money from Krejcir’s mother, Nadezda Krejcirova, to create the impression it was in debt.
Sars believes this was simply a scam to hide his fortune and illustrate his “poverty”.
Sars has investigated Jackson, Agliotti and now Krejcir.
Agliotti was hit with a R77 million tax bill while Sars wants R100 million from Jackson’s estate.
Jackson was murdered in May 2010, allegedly by hit man George Louca who will be extradited to South Africa from Cyprus to stand trial.
Shortly before his death, Jackson was approached to give evidence against Krejcir as part of an investigation into a money laundering scheme.
Jackson’s murder was followed by that of Cape Town underworld figure Cyril Beeka, who had close links to Krejcir.
The existence of the ring emerged from a claim of over R12 million, which Krejcir’s mother and a Czech-registered company, DKR Invest Praha Spolsro, instituted against Jackson’s estate.
In an affidavit filed in Johannesburg’s South Gauteng High Court, Krejcirova referred to an acknowledgement of debt, which Jackson allegedly signed in April 2010, five days before his murder.
But forensic investigator Kim Marriott said the acknowledgements were created as part of a “sham transaction” in the event the Reserve Bank learnt of Krejcir and Jackson’s cash dealings.
Jackson’s widow, Demi, said the Teazers boss used forged documents to “cover up”
questionable financial transactions and any alleged involvement with Krejcir in money laundering.
City Press tried to speak to Krejcir on Friday, but he said he was busy with police following the failed attempt on his life on Wednesday.
He didn’t respond to later messages.
A handmade, remote-controlled, 12-barrel weapon, hidden behind the licence plate of a Volkswagen, fired at Krejcir as he parked his bulletproof Mercedes in front of his gold and diamond exchange pawn shop in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.
Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay said the agency could not comment on Krejcir’s tax affairs as they, by law, had to maintain all taxpayers’ confidentiality.
How did he get here?
In 2007, a broad-shouldered man with thinning hair carrying a passport in the name of Egbert Jules Savy boarded a plane in the Seychelles.
Minutes after landing at OR Tambo International, Savy was arrested on an Interpol red notice and was identified as businessman Radovan Krejcir, one of the Czech Republic’s most wanted men.
Authorities there said Krejcir was part of a crime ring and had fled to the Seychelles to avoid charges of conspiracy to murder, fraud, extortion and abduction.
The Czech government, assisted by the National Prosecuting Authority, then brought what should have been a fairly routine extradition application. But Krejcir told the Kempton Park Magistrates’ Court he was tortured and falsely accused of crimes in a smear campaign orchestrated by his government.
Six years on, Krejcir has avoided extradition and is now awaiting the outcome of his political asylum application.
He has been convicted in absentia in the Czech Republic on charges of fraud and sentenced to 11 years in jail.
Since he arrived in South Africa, Krejcir has allegedly entrenched himself in the local underworld.
He was named as a suspect in five high-profile murders but has never been charged.
He was accused of insurance fraud of R4.5 million, but these charges have been provisionally withdrawn.
He has also been accused of robbing a Pretoria electronics shop of hundreds of thousands of rand, but those charges were also withdrawn.
In a 2011 raid on Krejcir’s Joburg home, the Hawks unit said it recovered a hit list containing the names of a state prosecutor, his former doctor and alleged health insurance fraud partner, and his nemesis, forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan said: “We don’t need him or his type here as we have enough of our own, home-grown thugs.
“It’s a sad reflection of all that is wrong with our criminal justice system when transnational criminals think they can buy immunity like this.”
Jacques Pauw @City_Press 28 July 2013 14:01