First Israelis indicted from Panama Papers information

Israel Tax Authority

Two business partners have been arrested for unreported profits totaling millions of shekels from companies in tax shelters.

The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court has ordered the arrest and released on bail two business partners, suspected of not reporting income of millions of shekels from companies registered in tax shelters abroad.

The arrest of the suspects is part of an investigation run by the Tax Authority's Central District Investigations tax inspector following the publication of the Panama Papers and the intelligence gathered on Israelis who have founded companies in tax shelters.

The judge has approved the details of this affair for publication but, at this stage, chose to examine the suspects' request to impose a gag order on their names.

The arrest requests claimed that in 2008 the suspects, who are directors and shareholders in several companies in Israel and abroad, used a firm specializing in this field to open several companies in tax shelters (Anguilla, Belize and the British Virgin Islands), in order to conceal their ownership.

Statements submitted by the suspects to the tax authority allegedly failed to report their ownership of these companies and the bank accounts they held abroad, as well as hidden profits originating abroad worth millions of shekels in 2012-4.

Yesterday, the suspicions led to a public investigation, including a search of the suspects' homes and offices in which documents and computers linked to the suspicions were seized. Moreover, a safe in one of the suspects' home was found to contain NIS 600,000 in cash, in shekels and foreign currency.

The suspects have been released on bail of NIS 500,000 each, and a third-party guarantee of NIS 250,000 each. They were banned from leaving the country and their passports were surrendered to the investigating unit.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on September 28, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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