Porsche tuner Uwe Gemballa's tuning shop closed last week after 30 years of business following his mysterious disappearance in South Africa. Now friends say Gemballa may have "chose to disappear" after an argument with his wife.
It's an international mystery not even the sharpest gumshoe can solve. Golden haired German tuning king Uwe Gemballa, famous for his wild Porsches, flies to South Africa in February to meet with fugitive Czech Billionaire Radovan Krejcir and promptly disappears after calling his wife for money.
Initially, the police suspect a kidnapping but then it turns out he filed for insolvency before he left the country and is under investigation by the German Police for financial impropriety. There are rumors he may be in Angola, Namibia, still in South Africa or maybe even dead.
Fast forward a few weeks and the eponymous Gemballa tuning company — faltering from his absence — officially closes its doors this weekend after 30 years in the business. Someone identified as a friend of Gemballa's wife Christiane tells The Sunday Times the call with her husband in February was "in English," leading her to believe he was coerced into making the call.
The Times adds another interesting detail from an interview with this friend:
The friend said the police said they saw this as a missing-person case. "They say Uwe might have had an argument with his wife and chose to disappear."
Friends deny Gemballa had any reason to flee and assume he's been taken, or worse. All we know is he's been gone for more than three months and no one — not the South African or German police, the fugitive Czech, the family, of friends — has admitted having contact with the missing tuner.