Police on Saturday foiled a plot by convicted Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir to escape from prison. In a dramatic raid on Krejcir’s cell, at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria, police confiscated a pistol, ammunition and a gadget that looks like a Taser and several other items.
According to well-placed sources, the raid took place after police received a tip-off that he “was desperate to escape from prison”.
A pepper spray gun, a knife, screwdriver steel blades, 10 cellphones and a memory stick were apparently also found in Krejcir’s cell.
Police also confiscated Krejcir’s diary with the names of the witnesses and investigators.
It was not immediately clear when these items were smuggled into his cell.
“We suspect he paid the warders to smuggle things into his cell. There is no way anybody else would have been able to take anything into his cell,” a source said.
The items that were found were handed to forensic investigators for further investigation.
Krejcir, a suspected underworld kingpin, was recently found guilty of kidnapping, drug dealing and attempted murder.
He and his co-accused were involved in the kidnapping of Bhekithemba Lukhele, whose brother Bhekisizwe Doctor Nkosi had stolen and fled with a large supply of crystal meth worth millions of rand from Krejcir. The loot was originally set to be sold in Australia.
He is expected to be sentenced next month. The Czech is scheduled to stand trial at the Palm Ridge High Court for the murder of Phumlani Ncube, a Zimbabwean debt collector who was killed in July 2013.
“Police received information from an informant who told them that Krejcir was planning to escape from prison before his next court appearance next month just before he starts another trial,” said a source close to the matter.
The raid took place yesterday afternoon.
Krejcir also faces charges for the murder of alleged Ekurhuleni drug dealer Sam Issa, who was gunned down in Bedfordview in 2013, and the conspiracy to murder private security consultant Paul O’Sullivan and top cop Colonel Nkosana “Killer” Ximba. Ncube’s bullet-riddled body was found near a farm in Heidelberg in 2013.
According to sources, Ncube, who lived in Norwood, allegedly worked for Krejcir as his debt collector. It is alleged that Krejcir organised a hit on him after he had a fallout with Ncube.
A source said a man, whose name is known to The Sunday Independent, who worked as a police officer, had stopped Ncube under the pretext that he was arresting him, but instead took him to the hitman.
He was allegedly shot and killed at a house in Joburg before his body was dumped in the veld near a farm in Heidelberg. The debt collector was buried in Zimbabwe.
Issa, also known as The Cripple and Black Sam, died when his Audi Q7 was riddled with bullets near his home.
This apparently followed a drug deal that went sour.
A police officer who wanted to remain anonymous said they were taking this apparent jailbreak bid seriously.
“Detectives investigating a string of cases decided to come and raid his (Krejcir’s) prison cell.
“We are dealing with a dangerous man. What is he doing with all these things in the cell?” he asked.
A senior official at the Kgosi Mampuru prison confirmed the incident and that the items had been seized.
Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela said: “I don’t know which raid you are talking about because we have raids here nearly every day.”