Car customizer Uwe Gemballa's body found in South AfricaUPDATE Today the South African police confirmed that Uwe Gemballa was indeed kidnapped and the new CEO of Gemballa confirmed that the companies financial position prior to his disappearance were far from good. The last issue has been completely restored with the new owners of the company. The kidnapping however is more than a coincidence, according to Germany newspaper the Stern, Uwe Gemballa was involved with Radovan Krejcir, a leader of a crime syndicate from the Czech Republic, that has been hiding in South Africa for years. Uwe Gemballa and Radovan Krejcir have known each other since the 1990s and it seems that Radovan had convinced Uwe to import Gemballa vehicles to South Africa to smuggle large sums of Euros and Dollars to South Africa from Europe.
Both the German authorities as Gemballa confirm that at least one car, a Porsche Cayenne, has been shipped to South Africa in recent years. A former business partner of Radovan Krejcir confirmed that 1 million euro was hidden inside the vehicle but when the Cayenne arrived in South Africa the money was missing. Hereafter an associate of Radovan tried to lure Uwe to South Africa under a false name and non existing business deal. In February 2010 Uwe Gemballa flew to Johannesburg via Dubai, where according to security cameras at the Johannesburg airport he was picked up by a Russian that is most likely another associate from the Czech criminal that Uwe worked with earlier. A few days later his wife received a strange call from Uwe with a request to send 1 million euro to South Africa, nothing was heard from him since until today his dental records were matched to a body found near Pretoria.
10/03/10 The body of car customizer Uwe Gemballa, who had been missing for eight months, has been found in South Africa. He was 54 at the time of his disappearance.
Gemballa had traveled to South Africa in February on a business trip regarding the opening of a dealership in Johannesburg, according a Reuters report.
Vishnu Naidoo, a South African police spokesman, said police are investigating the circumstances surrounding Gemballa's death. "A murder docket has been opened," Naidoo said.
Located near Stuttgart, Germany, Gemballa's company was well known for converting Porsche sports cars into turbocharged supercars. The company was in financial trouble at the time of Gemballa's disappearance.
Since Gemballa's disappearance, the company was broken up by liquidators and shut down. In August, Andreas Schwarz and investor Steffen Korbach announced their formation of a new company, Gemballa GmbH.
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