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Sam Sole, Sally Evans15 Nov 2013 15:45
Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir. (Lisa Skinner, M&G)
The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has delivered the most serious blow to Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir since the beginning of his blood-stained sojourn on South African soil.
Sars this week obtained a court order placing all of Krejcir's assets – and those of his family and associates – under the control of a curator, following a preservation order issued by the high court in Pretoria.
Sars acted in terms of the Tax Administration Act based on the view that Krejcir owes more than R59-million in taxes, penalties and interest.
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 Moneypoint pawn business in Bedfordview, which was hit in a bomb attack this week, leaving two people dead.
Evidence submitted to the court also discloses dramatic new allegations about Krejcir's business dealings, which could also throw light on possible motives behind certain of the murders of people linked to Krejcir.
It was reported that Krejcir had been served with the preservation order at 4pm on Friday afternoon.
Krejcir's tax affairs
In an affidavit to motivate for the asset freeze, Johann van Loggenberg, Sars group executive in charge of enforcement investigations, revealed that Ronny Bvuma, who was killed in Tuesday's explosion, was the purported owner of Crosspoint, trading as Moneypoint, but that Sars viewed this as "a sham" – partly based on Bvuma's testimony at an earlier inquiry into Krejcir's tax affairs.
Van Loggenberg stated: "The business of Crosspoint was allegedly sold to Ronnie Bvuma during 2012, but Bvuma in his evidence at the income tax inquiry stated that he did not understand the sale agreement, did not have any real knowledge of the day-to-day operations of Crosspoint, and that Crosspoint was still under the management of Ivan Savov."
According to Sars, Savov describes himself as the manager of all the businesses conducted in the name of Krejcir's wife, Katerina.
Statements in the murder case of German businessperson Uwe Gemballa, said Gemballa was taken to a house, which police found was rented by Savov – where he was killed. Savov said he was out of the country at the time.
Van Loggenberg states: "There was a substantial flow of funds into and out of the banking account of Crosspoint, but Crosspoint has submitted an income tax return for 2010 reflecting an assessed loss of R169 563.
The income tax returns for 2011 and 2012 are outstanding."
Crosspoint, trading as Moneypoint, was involved in gold trading and money-lending, Sars says.
'Front for income'
"If Crosspoint in fact conducted bona fide business for its own profit and benefit, then it is liable for tax and, after completion of Sars' investigations, will be assessed for tax.
"If, on the other hand, Crosspoint has been used by Radovan Krejcir … as a conduit or front for income, which accrued to Radovan Krejcir and disbursement of funds for the benefit of Radovan Krejcir and his family with the intention of evading the income tax for which Radovan Krejcir is liable, appropriate steps will be taken to assess and recover such income tax."
Van Loggenberg also indicates that Krejcir appeared to have paid over R3.7-million to George Smith, also known as Louca (via what Sars suggests is a fake "loan").
Louca is the man Krejcir met in prison when the Czech was first arrested on entry into South Africa in April 2007, when he arrived from the Seychelles, where he had obtained a passport in the name of Jules Savvy.
After the murder of strip club boss Lolly Jackson – an associate of Krejcir – ?Louca fled to Cyprus, where he is still resisting extradition.
Van Loggerenberg states: "One of the loans reflected was a loan to George Smith, the balance of which accumulated over time to an amount of R3 773 070.
"In terms of an undated written agreement of settlement which was produced at the income tax inquiry, George Smith agreed to repay a sum of R3.5-million to G2B and pledged a number of assets … as security…
"It appeared from the evidence given at the income tax inquiry that most of the assets which George Smith had purportedly given as security for repayment of the sum of R3.5-million were in fact assets which Radovan Krejcir had acquired in the Seychelles."
Agliotti's legal fees
Sars says its investigations also disclosed that Glenn Agliotti borrowed R500 000 from Krejcir to pay for his legal fees.
The court application also reveals allegations that Krejcir embarked on a complicated Value Added Tax fraud scheme together with two of his associates.
In terms of the alleged scheme, low value engine parts were sold to a Krejcir-linked company for an inflated price of some R20-million.
Van Loggerenberg also reveals there are four separate cases in the Czech Republic for which Krejcir is sought to stand trial.
"In 1996 Radovan Krejcir acquired the possession and control of certain shares that he was contractually obliged to return to a company Fryrnis.
"He failed to return the shares causing damage of approximately 75-million Czech crowns [approximately R31-million]."
On appeal, Krejcir was sentenced to six years' imprisonment.
'Not yet served the sentence'
According to Van Loggerenberg's affidavit:
Krecjir is currently waiting to argue an appeal at the Refugee Appeal Board against the refusal to grant his application for refugee status.
He maintains the cases against him in the Czech Republic are politically motivated.
Challenge the preservation
Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay told amaBhungane: "At this stage we would prefer not to comment."
Krejcir has until December 2 to challenge the preservation.
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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.
Read more from Sam Sole
Sally is a reporter at the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism, Amabhungane.
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