James Bond may be a fictional British spy, but a 007-esque attack committed against a Czech businessman in Johannesburg, South Africa was all too real.
According to South African news, Radovan Krejcir was minding his own business while parked at his gold and diamonds pawn shop Moneypoint in Bradford Road in Bedfordview between the hours of 10:30 and 11:00am. When he stepped out of his bulletproof Mercedes AMG to take a phone call, he heard a loud “popping noise”.
At first, Mr Krejcir thought the noise was made by fireworks and continued his phone call. It was only when he looked back and saw 24 bullet dents in the driver side did he realise there had been an attempt on his life.
The shots, it later emerged, came from a a 12-pipe firing device installed behind the number plate of a red VW Polo which had been parked opposite.
Nobody was hurt in the attack. However, such was the heat created by makeshift device, the Polo burst into flames. Police later inspected the vehicle and found a remote-controlled, battery-operated trigger had been used to carry out the attack.
“It was like something from a movie,” Krejcir explained to The Star (South Africa) newspaper. “It’s definitely a professional job.”
The mysterious red VW Polo had been parked in the same car park over a period of three or four days, but witnesses assumed it was there to visit other local businesses. It’s likely the car was waiting for Krecjir to park opposite to make the attack possible, which would suggest some sort of surveillance must’ve been involved.
Recjir later visited the office of the Star newspaper to talk about the ordeal and was questioned by journalists. “I don’t know who did it, but if I did I wouldn’t tell you,” he said. “It was a surprise for me, but I am not gonna get some bodyguards or anything like that.”
An investigation into attempted murder has been opened. No arrests have been made so far. It’s believed the attack stems from territory disputes between Cape Town gangsters. A source of the Star said a meeting between Krecjir and a notorious member of the underworld to iron out their differences “didn’t go well”.
Krecjir is no stranger to getting into trouble, which would go some way in explaining why he has a bulletproof Merc. He fled the Czech Republic amid allegations of defrauding the government to the tune of 225m rand (roughly £15,000,000) seven years ago. In December, 2012, he was convicted of money laundering in his absence and sentenced to 11 years in jail.
Krecjir is currently fighting extradition to the Czech Republic, where he also stands accused attempted murder. He appeared in court back in May but the case has been postponed until August.