Israeli police recommend Russian-Israeli billionaire be charged with money laundering

Israeli police have recommended Thursday to the state prosecutor that a Russian-Israeli billionaire be charged for allegedly laundering $50 million (Ђ41 million), Israeli media reported.

The colorful Arkady Gaydamak is a high-profile figure in Israel as the owner of two leading sports teams who has extensive business dealings.

Last year he announced his intention to run in March 28 elections, hoping to gain the support of about one million voters who came from the former Soviet Union, but never followed through.

Police transferred Gaydamak's case to the state prosecutor on Thursday, recommending that there is enough evidence to convict him, Israeli media reported.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that Gaydamak's case had been transferred to the state prosecutor but would not say if any recommendations had been made. Israeli police have questioned him on the case several times. In several local interviews, Gaydamak has insisted he is innocent.

A spokeswoman for Gaydamak did not return a call requesting comment. If charged, Gaydamak's case could be the largest money laundering scandal in Israeli history. He could face 10 years in jail, Channel 10 TV reported.

Gaydamak also has an international arrest warrant against him involving the alleged smuggling of weapons to Angola. His Israeli citizenship protects him from extradition, reports AP.


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