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Veselin Laganin, the Serbian national gunned down in Bedfordview, east of Joburg, yesterday, was apparently an associate of Czech fugitive and alleged criminal mastermind Radovan Krejcir.
The two were co-accused in an armed robbery case heard in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court in February. Former bouncer Jason Dominguez-Baya was also charged with the pair for a robbery allegedly committed at an electronics shop in Pretoria West in October last year.
Laganin’s shooting comes just three weeks after 51-year-old Sam Issa, a Lebanese businessman, was shot 33 times by unknown assailants, also in Bedfordview.
Issa was allegedly Krejcir’s business associate. The Sunday Independent reported two weeks ago that Issa and Krejcir were understood to have fallen out recently over business deals.
Krejcir denied being former associates with Issa following his killing. He told The Sunday Independent: “I know him from Bedfordview. He was a very lonely person, very private… But he is not an associate of mine.”
Krejcir would not comment on Laganin’s shooting. He put down the phone when called yesterday.
“No, brother, I’m not talking to the media, thank you,” he said.
Laganin appears to be the 10th victim of shootings that have rocked the underworld since 2009.
Chad Thomas, an independent organised crime investigator, said: “It just seems too coincidental that another Krejcir associate is killed at a time so close to the murder of another Krejcir associate – Issa.”
Police remained mum yesterday on whether the fatal attack on Laganin was linked to Issa.
“It’s still early days in the investigation. We’re a few hours into it, so we cannot say,” said Brigadier Neville Malila. It was “speculation” he was linked to Krejcir, he said.
Late yesterday, Gauteng police were still looking for two suspects over Laganin’s shooting. “There are no arrests at this stage,” said Malila.
He said two robbers allegedly entered Laganin’s home through an open window. “They woke the victim’s wife and indicated to her to be quiet,” Malila added.
“It is alleged… they took her ring from her finger, and her husband woke up. The suspects fired shots at him,” he said. - Sunday Independent