Uwe Gemballa was known for making radical modified Porsches right up to the day in early February 2010 that he disappeared. Then the world found out Gemballa had money troubles, then they found out he was murdered in South Africa. Now a man believed to be connected to the murder is in custody.
The path that leads you from Uwe Gemballa's popular turning shop in Germany to a plastic bag wrapped around in his head in South Africa is a twisty one, but no matter which way you look along the path you find Czech fugitive billionaire Radovan Krejcir. Most reports seem to agree that Gemballa went to South Africa to see Krejcir associate Jerome Safi to get the money for a new dealership — money that would help him avoid bankruptcy.
Shortly after arriving in Johannesburg, Gemballa called his wife asking for a million euros and then he disappeared, with no one knowing where he was for months. Many speculated that he'd just gone into hiding to avoid the German government and his creditors, but his body showed up roughly eight months later in a shallow grave, a plastic bag around his head.
The police did find and charge four men with the murder, one of whom confessed, but these appear to be the henchmen who carried out the crime and not the individuals who asked for it.
Now, after a bizarre assassination attempt, Krejcir has been arrested by South African police on murder charger. Here's the release from the police:
The South African Police Service can confirm that Radovan Krejcir was arrested just after 18:00 today, Friday 22 November 2013. He was arrested on a warrant of arrest relating to charges of attempted murder and kidnapping. Although the SAPS does not usually name a suspect before he or she appears in court, it was decided on the basis of the existence of an arrest warrant and public interest that the suspect in this instance will be identified. The SAPS will host a press conference in Pretoria tomorrow:
Is this related to Gemballa? Perhaps another murder? South Africa's Mail & Guardian has a list of bodies Krejcir is connected to so it's difficult to say.