On Tuesday we reported that Uwe Gemballa had disappeared in South Africa, repeating CarsUK's suggestion that he could have planned his own disappearance. Today we spoke to Gemballa. Here's what they had to say.
"We don't know what happened to him, we don't know why he's missing, he's just missing," said Gemballa representative Ekkehard Krebs before going on to deny that the German government had seized any of the company's cars. "We are still operating as normal," he said, before adding that police had arrived at the exotic car tuner's HQ the day Uwe was reported missing last week and are still there today, continuing their investigation. German police are apparently cooperating with both Interpol and South African police in the investigation.
Several rumors are swirling surrounding Uwe's disappearance. It's been claimed that Uwe himself phoned a business associate with a $1.36 million ransom demand and that the whole disappearance could be the result of alleged legal and financial troubles. Gemballa denies the former, saying that no one — not an individual, business or police force — has heard from Uwe since he went missing in Johannesburg and also says there's no truth to the suggestions of financial or legal trouble. However, CarsUK editor John Overend stands by his reporting that cars have been seized, suggesting that the seizures indicate there could be more to this story than Gemballa is letting on.
"We all hope Uwe will return safely soon, we still hope the best for him," concluded Ekkehard.