Gaydamak, Chen and Fanan – Abuse & Corruption Roundup...

There were key milestone positive developments in three scandals in Israel this past week.

Israeli-Russian-French Billionaire, and latterly a candidate for Mayor of Jerusalem, Arcadi Gaydamak, was found guilty in absentia by a French court, of illegally trafficking arms to Angola and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Gaydamak recently left Israel, leaving a deposit, and an open charge sheet for laundering hundreds of millions of shekels behind him. Gaydamak is believed to be in Russia.

“Rabbi” Elior Chen, the spiritual leader of an ultra-Orthodox sect in Jerusalem suspected of severe child abuse, arrived in Israel this week after being extradited from Brazil. Chen and several of his followers allegedly used knives, hammers and other instruments to abuse children as young as 3 and 4 years old – reportedly one of the most horrific child abuse cases in recent times.

And the mysterious suicide of Moni Fanan, a celebrity manager of the Maccabi Basketball football team, has led to police investigation into an illegal banking and investments operation involving Fanan and the disgraced London financier Nicholas Levene. The case resembles the Meydoff scam, with a ‘club’ of people who invested via Fanan and Levene in a scheme which netted the greedy ‘investors’ with double figure returns. Until the money dried up, and Fanan hanged himself. Both Israeli tax authorities and the UK Serious Fraud Squad are investigating. “Disappeared” money is reportedly around $20m in Fanan’s case, and over $200m in Levene’s.

These three multinational cases are showing that, though tardy, the forces of law and order in Israel, in cooperation with those of other nations, can eventually track down and catch abusers and fraudsters. The criminals can run, but - all being well - they cannot hide.


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