Yesterday the Israeli media reported the seizure of a large amount of undeclared money from "a group of Russian deputies” in the international airport of Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv. Later it was reported that Senator Suleiman Kerimov was within the group in Israel for a private trip. His entourage said the seized ? 100 thousand had been intended for charitable purposes, and the incident was a pure misunderstanding.
Newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported about the incident at the Tel Aviv airport. According to the newspaper, the airport customs found the bodyguard who was accompanying the group of Russian parliamentarians carrying nearly ? 100 000, thus Russians’ objections were not taken into account. Later the Israeli electronic media reported that a well-known politician and businessman Suleiman Kerimov was within the group of Russians; he was in private in Israel.
The Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv told Kommersant yesterday that over the past several days, Russian diplomats have not received any complaints of a similar incident neither from the Russian parliament, nor from the Israeli government bodies. The Israeli Tax authority confirmed the money withdrawal to Kommersant.
There was no official comment from representatives of Senator Karimov yesterday. Meanwhile, an anonymous source close to Mr. Karimov told the Interfax news agency that the incident with the withdrawal of large sums of money in the Israeli airport from the senator’s assistant was an "unfortunate misunderstanding". "The funds seized by Israeli customs - ? 100 thousand were designed exclusively for charitable purposes. Moreover, during the departure by private plane from the Moscow Vnukovo airport that money had been declared", he said. According to him, "Senator’s assistants did not know that at the entrance of Israel they had to declare that amount again." "Neither Senator Kerimov, nor his assistants had no intention to violate the laws of the State of Israel, and the incident was the result of an unfortunate misunderstanding", the source summed up.
Meanwhile, attorney Uri Brimmer, who represented the interests of the assistant of Mr. Karimov, who had carried the money, told Kommersant that Suleiman Kerimov had not violated any law. "The Administrative Committee of the customs of Israel has already ruled that Suleiman Kerimov has no relation to this whole story”, the lawyer said. “At the end, the money found has been considered legitimate and will be returned to the owner."
Source: Kommersant № 196 (4496) on 10/21/2010