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JOHANNESBURG---It was a lethal
gadget right out of a James Bond
movie: Remote-controlled gun barrels
rigged behind the rear licence plate
of a car that spray bullets at an unsus-
But South African police say it was
a possible attempt to kill Radovan Kre-
jcir, a Czech fugitive who was sentenced
in his country last year to 11 years in
jail for tax fraud and has been linked
to underworld figures in Johannesburg.
Krejcir emerged unscathed from
Wednesday s episode, which peppered
his bullet-proof Mercedes Benz with
impact marks and shocked veteran
observers of South Africa s organised
crime who thought they had seen it
all. The empty, parked vehicle where
the weapon was hidden burst into
flames after the shooting, possibly
"All my life is like James Bond stuff,"
Krejcir said with a chuckle in an inter-
James Bond-styled hit in South Africa
view with Eyewitness News, a
South African media outlet.
"That s how I live my life."
And who might want to kill
him? At first, Krejcir reportedly
said he didn t know. Then he said
that if he had any theories, he was-
n t saying.
The episode was the one of the
most outlandish chapters in the
long saga of the underworld in
Johannesburg, where turf battles
over drugs, fraud schemes and
other spoils sometimes turn deadly.
Over the years, South Africans
have been riveted by this fringe
universe of hit men, corrupt cops,
sleaze merchants and grisly mur-
No one, however, tried to take
out another guy with something
that Q, the hi-tech whiz in the
British secret service of the Bond
movies, would devise in his lab-
The getup on the car outside
Krejcir s gold and diamonds pawn
shop evoked Goldfinger, the Bond
movie in which 007 drives an
Aston Martin with gun barrels
behind the front indicators.
Photographs of the stolen red
VW Polo in Johannesburg show a
dozen gun barrels, some of them
melted or contorted by the fire
that followed the shooting. It was
an accurate effort.
About ten bullets hit the driver s
window, but Krejcir was out of the
vehicle at that point, talking on
Security consultant Rory Steyn
said on Radio 702 that there could
be "any number of motives" for
the incident, whether it was an
attack on Krejcir or even something
that he set up himself to appear
like an assassination attempt.
Krejcir told local media that he
initially thought he was hearing
fireworks. He speculated that
someone knew he always parked
in the same place, positioned the
gun-fitted VW for the hit and then
triggered it from a distance.
Sean Newman, co-author of a
book about a murdered strip club
owner, said he was in the area at
the time and had a close look at
the rigged vehicle. He suggested
the skills and planning required
for such a job may have come from
"It was definitely very sophis-
ticated," he said.
"My first impression was that
this was not local."
Krejcir eluded a police raid on
his Czech villa in 2005 and turned
up in South Africa in 2007, where
he has fought extradition attempts.
While in South Africa, Krejcir was
charged with robbery and insur-
ance fraud in unrelated cases, but
the charges were dropped. (AP)
Radovan Krejcir chats with a friend after escaping an attempt to kill him in Johannesburg,
South Africa, on Wednesday. Krejcir is a Czech fugitive who was convicted of tax fraud in his
country last year and has been linked to underworld figures in Johannesburg, some of whom
have died violently and mysteriously. AP PHOTOS
Czech fugitive lives to tell tale
A ballistic expert goes over the vehicle
that was attacked for evidence.
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