Netanyahu: Money Laundering Case is Exaggerated
AVIV (RIA Novosti, by Ratmir Orestov) — Israeli Finance Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu believes the probe of the Hapoalim bank money
laundering case has been blown out of proportions.
an interview with satellite TV channel RTVI, the head of Israeli
finance ministry stated that he did not know who benefited from
that, although he could say with certainty that "Israel will
lose a lot if some TV viewers will think that the country does
not need immigrants from the former Soviet Union and can afford
Finance Minister, I can assure you: Israel needs both Russian
immigrants and their investments in our economy. Moreover, when
a money laundering case is investigated, and I know the subject
pretty well and have a through knowledge of the international
laws regulating the procedures, the authorities primarily search
for evidence indicating the connection with terrorism or illicit
drug trade. No one in the world is interested today whether the
taxes were paid appropriately. Israel does not care about it either.
It is more important for us to attract Russian investments on
our internal market," Mr. Netanyahu stressed.
said, "businessmen from CIS countries are welcomed here,
and not only because they are as good as anybody else, but primarily
because they are talented professionals. They must emigrate to
Israel and work for the benefit of our national economy."
Netanyahu called the scandal around Hapoalim bank "blown
completely out of proportions." "They throw the names
around with such levity as if it were a global conspiracy. I suggest
we should wait for the results of the probe first," the Israeli
finance minister stated.
to preliminary information provided by Israeli police, former
Russian media mogul Vladimir Gusinsky and former co-owner of Yukos
Leonid Nevzlin have been named suspects in the money laundering
case involving a branch of Hapoalim bank in Tel Aviv. None of
them has been interrogated by the Israeli police so far. Russian-speaking
Israeli media note that not a single Israeli native has been mentioned
in connection with the scandal.
channel, which has affiliate stations in Israel and the United
States, belongs to Vladimir Gusinsky.