The gag order has been lifted on publishing the names of the two Israeli billionaires arrested on suspicion of tax evasion and concealing income of hundreds of millions of shekels, following a request by "Globes" and other Israeli media outlets. The businessmen are Itzik and Amir Dayan, members of one of the richest families in Israel.
The Dayan family owns huge amounts of commercial real estate in Europe and Israel including hotels and hotels franchising rights under the name Africa Israel Hotels. They also own a controlling stake in TLG Immobilien AG, traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which has a market cap of over €3.2 billion, and is the third largest real estate company in Europe. The Dayans also own Luxembourg based real estate company Vivion Holding.
The allegations against the brothers are focused on hundreds of millions of shekels that apparently came to the Dayan brothers from a foreign trust set up in 2001 by a Frenchman named Jacques Malkah, the father in law of Itzik Dayan. In 2015 the trust signed a settlement with the Israel Tax Authority but subsequently suspicions were aroused at the Tax Authority that the trust was a fiction and a covert investigation ensued. The Tax Authority also had misgivings as to how only NIS 2 million in tax was paid although there was €182 million in the trust. On November 9 the investigation came into the open and Itzik and Amir Dayan were arrested.
Advs. Nati Simchony and Haim Gabay who represent the Dayan brothers deny the charges. "Amir and Itzik Dayan are respectable businessmen who do not have a blemish to their name. The matter that is being checked out by the Tax Authority arose during a divorce dispute and is complex and the Dayan brothers are being represented, in this context, by the finest experts. Because of this, it would be appropriate if this matter is examined solely at the civil level. Amir and Itzik are working openly and in full cooperation with the Tax Authority and are sure that ultimately the investigation will make clear that there was nothing incorrect in their conduct."
Presumption of innocence: Amir and Itzik Dayan are only suspects. The criminal investigation is in its early stages and they have not been convicted of any offense and they have the right of the presumption of innocence.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 17, 2020
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