The Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, who made his fortune in diamonds and mining, is mentioned more than 200 times in the Panama Papers.
Gertler is among some 600 Israeli companies and 850 Israeli shareholders listed in the leaked documents of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, a leader in establishing shell companies that often serve to conceal the ownership of assets.
Gertler is mentioned in connection to a number of companies, and registered as a beneficiary for some of them. Mossack Fonseca’s internal correspondences includes a draft of a contract between Gertler and a company called Callery Resources, seemingly for consultation on a mining deal in Congo.
Haaretz’s investigation has found that this company is controlled by Yitzhak Abuhatzeira, son of millionaire Rabbi David Abuhatzeira and apparently one of Gertler’s closest associates.
The leaked documents also show that the Panama-based law firm had stopped representing Gertler due to alleged investigations into his companies.
In 2011 Gertler was at the center of an extensive correspondence between various figures in Mossack Fonseca. According to the files, the law firm failed to carry out a due diligence examination before registering two Panamanian companies, Burford Commercial S.A. and Norseville Estates S.A. The two companies were registered at an unusual request of a Swiss law firm. Only after registration did Mossack Fonseca find out that the beneficiaries of both companies were “Anat Gertler, her husband Dan and their children.”
After this discovery, the head of the firm’s client department sent an email recommending the firm immediately stop working with these companies and halt cooperation with the Swiss firm that represented them.
“…We discovered that the [beneficial owner] is a Mr. Dan Gertler who is an Israeli diamond dealer under investigation… His name is plastered all over the internet and we have entities of his with our [British Virgin Islands] license that are currently under investigation by the BVI Financial Securities Commission,” the email says.
Another email says Gertler is suspected of bribing Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman; a correspondence from 2011 confirms that Mossack Fonseca ceased representing the companies.
Emails sent in 2015 again mention Gertler’s name. They include a draft of a contract between Gertler and a Panamanian company Callery Resources, which was registered by Mossack Fonseca in January of that year.
According to the contract, Callery provided valuable consultation services to Rowny Asset Limited and other companies “associated” with Gertler on mining in Congo’s Katanga Province. The outcome of the consultation was the creation of a company called Mumi, which was jointly owned by Rowny and the mining giant Glencore. Mumi’s holdings in Katanga are estimated to be $1.8 billion. The contract states that Rowny received a dividend from Mumi in the last quarter of 2014.
In the contract, Gertler also undertakes to “recommend” that Rowny to pay Callery $10 million for its services, with further payments if additional dividends are received from Mumi. Callery’s power of attorney is signed by one Yitzhak Abuhatzeira of Ramat Gan, according to the leaked papers.
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