Radovan Krejcir. Picture:Nokuthula Mbatha.

Johannesburg - A staggering R246 million had been made available to ensure the smooth escape of Czech Radovan Krejcir from prison before the plot was thwarted last week.

The Sunday Independent can today also reveal that three prison warders were paid R1.5m to help expedite the prison break.

Impeccable sources close to the investigation have revealed:

- The three warders have already been identified and their arrest is imminent.

- The fugitive has been transferred to an underground isolation cell after it had been established a helicopter was going to be used in the daring raid to free him.

- Some of the R246m was to pay for the chopper to spirit Krejcir away once he had escaped.

- A part of the money was to be used to pay all the people, including the cops, who were involved in the plan to spring him from jail and some would have been used to pay for the landing rights for a chartered plane to fly him out of the country.

Sources within the police, the intelligence environment and Correctional Services Department, who are close to the investigation, have confirmed these details.

They have also confirmed that three warders were paid R1.5m to smuggle a firearm and ammunition into Zonderwater Correctional Services and several illegal items, which were found in Krejcir’s cell.

Asked to comment on whether investigations had revealed that three warders had been paid R1.5m to help with Krejcir escape, Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela said: “We are not going to confirm or deny anything until investigations are finalised.”

Wolela said the investigations were at a critical stage.

The Sunday Independent last week reported how a firearm and ammunition were confiscated from Krejcir’s cell in a dramatic raid.

A knife, an item that looked like a Taser, a pepper-spray gun, screwdriver steel blades, 10 cellphones, a memory stick and a diary with the names of witnesses and investigators in all his criminal cases were also found.

This was after officials had received a tip-off of the escape plot.

National police spokesman Solomon Makgale said Krejcir was also found in possession of a sketch showing a detailed map of the prison building.

“The threat is in prison. There are inmates and prison officials that are helping him. There is absolutely no way prison warders would not have been involved,” Makgale said.

Krejcir 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 drugs were to be sold in Australia.

Krejcir is expected to be sentenced for the kidnapping next month.

He is due 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.

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 allegedly worked for Krejcir as his debt collector.

It is alleged 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 on the pretext that he was arresting him, but instead took him to the hitman.

He was shot and killed at a house in Joburg before his body was dumped.

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.

- The Sunday Independent