Israeli magnate in bank fraud scam

Russian-Israeli media baron Vladimir Gusinski is among dozens wanted by police for questioning over a multi-million-dollar money laundering scandal.

    Police believe hundreds of millions of dollars were laundered

    Documents have been seized from the home of the 52-year-old businessman and he will be questioned upon his return from abroad, Israeli police said Monday. 

    After a year-long undercover investigation, police believe
    hundreds of millions of dollars were laundered through Hapoalim Bank. 

    But Gusinski - the one-time owner of Russian television stations NTV and TNT - is no stranger to fraud investigations. 

    International warrant

    The Russian authorities have an international warrant for his arrest, accusing him of laundering money through his Media-MOST empire, although media groups have accused Moscow of merely trying to quash the independent press. 

    A leading figure in the Jewish Diaspora with dual
    Israeli-Russian citizenship, Gusinski has a large stake in Israel's Maariv newspaper and interests in a wide range of media outfits, including in Spain. 

    Israel's ambassador to London and a business partner of
    Gusinski, Zvi Hefetz, is also set to be questioned along with
    businessman Arcadi Gaydamak. 

    Gaydamak - an Angolan, Canadian, Israeli and French passport holder - was previously implicated in Angolan arms trafficking that saw Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, a son of the former French president, jailed. 

    So far, 24 employees of Hapoalim's seafront Hayarkon Street
    branch in Tel Aviv have been arrested for questioning, including those who worked on desks dealing with France and republics in the former Soviet Union. 

       

    SOURCE: AFP


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