JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A Czech criminal who once boasted that he had a James Bond lifestyle is being held at South Africa’s most secure prison because of concerns that he might try to escape.
Radovan Krejcir, who awaits sentencing after being convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping, was transferred late last year from a jail near Pretoria to the prison in Kokstad, in eastern South Africa.
Krejcir was moved to Kokstad because he is a “high security risk,” Manelisi Wolela, a correctional services spokesman, said Wednesday.
South African media quoted officials as saying they foiled past escape efforts by Krejcir, confiscating a firearm and cellular telephones in his cell. They also reportedly found a diary detailing an escape plan involving a chartered aircraft that would fly him to Argentina.
Krejcir was arrested in 2013 for allegedly kidnapping and assaulting a man whose brother disappeared with 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of the drug crystal methamphetamine that authorities said was supposed to be smuggled through Johannesburg’s airport.
The Czech eluded a police raid on his Czech villa in 2005 and turned up in South Africa in 2007, where he fought extradition attempts.
He once told South African media that his life is “like James Bond stuff.”
Security at the Ebongweni prison at Kokstad includes pneumatic sliding doors, closed circuit television, an electrified fence and a biometric system for reading fingerprints of those entering the facility. The jail can accommodate 1,440 inmates in single cells.
Inmates include Henry Okah, an alleged gunrunner and militant leader from Nigeria who was arrested in South Africa and found guilty of plotting deadly car bombings in Nigeria in 2010.
“Kokstad is where all the most difficult ones go,” said novelist Wessel Ebersohn, whose book “The Top Prisoner of C-Max” features a character imprisoned at Kokstad.
CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press
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