Sars wins Krejcir assets order

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir File photo: Antoine de Ras

Pretoria - The SA Revenue Service (Sars) obtained a final preservation order on Thursday against the assets of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.

Judge Ephraim Makgoba granted the order in the High Court in Pretoria as Krejcir's trial on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder continued in the High Court in Johannesburg sitting in Palm Ridge.

The judge dismissed Krejcir's last-minute attempt to postpone the taxman's application to place his assets, along with those of his wife Katerina Krejcirova and a number of business entities and trusts, in the hands of a curator.

The order would enable the curator to unravel Krejcir's complicated business empire, trace hidden assets, and dispose of existing assets to cover his massive tax bill.

Nic Maritz SC, for Sars, argued that Krejcir used a network of companies, close corporations and trusts to channel money and evade payment of income tax.

Sars official Johann Loggenberg said in an affidavit that Krejcir had under-disclosed his taxable income by over R114.7

million, but told a tax inquiry he had no business interests and that his wife and mother supported him.

Despite a number of court orders setting deadlines for Krejcir to file an opposing affidavit, Krejcir claimed on Thursday he needed yet a further extension because he first wanted to consult with George Luca (also known as George Smith) before drawing up his final answer to the allegations.

Luca, who is accused of murdering strip club owner Lolly Jackson, was extradited to South Africa from Cyprus in February. Krejcir however claimed his lawyers had not yet been able to get hold of Luca to consult with him.

Sars alleged Krejcir had used a company called Groep 2 Beleggings, of which his wife was the sole director, to make alleged bogus loans, including a R3.5m loan to Smith/Luca, for which he gave as security assets that had in fact been acquired by Krejcir himself in the Seychelles.

When Luca “defaulted” on the loan, the company (or Krejcir) could “claim back” his assets without having to show where the income he used to pay for the assets came from, Maritz said. Krejcir had set up a “smoke and mirrors type of scheme”.

The assets included a yacht, various motorcycles, a Porsche Cayenne, and a Lamborghini.

Sars alleges Groep 2 Beleggings was used to buy two luxury properties for Krejcir and his family, that the company never conducted any genuine business and that its books revealed a number of questionable transactions.

The company's customers included self-confessed drug dealer Glenn Agliotti, who apparently borrowed R500,000 for his legal fees and also testified in the tax inquiry against Krejcir.

Agliotti's estate was sequestrated in February this year because of a R70m outstanding tax bill.

A close corporation called DKR Auto was allegedly used to buy numerous vehicles, but no business activities were reflected on its accounts.

Another entity, Scara Technologies CC, appeared to have been a party to fraudulent VAT schemes involving motor vehicle parts and diamonds, Sars alleged.

Krejcir claimed in an affidavit he was too busy with his criminal trial, his application for asylum and opposing his extradition to the Czech Republic to consult properly with his lawyers in order to file opposing papers in the preservation application.

He further alleged he was unable to pay his attorneys because of the multitude of cases against him. He was struggling to find other attorneys willing to act for him because of the stigma attached to his name due to negative publicity, he claimed.

Sapa


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