Dudi Ezra owner of Neto Holdings was arrested on suspicion of smuggling 475,000 euros abroad


by Ifi Reporter Category:Financial Jun 6, 2022

Dudi Ezra, the controlling owner of the Neto Holdings group and chairman of the group, was arrested by the tax authority on suspicion of smuggling more than 475,000 euros abroad. After being brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Monday, he was released on restrictive conditions.
The request for arrest and release on bail submitted by the Tax Authority against Ezra shows that the Jerusalem Customs and VAT Investigations Department, in cooperation with the customs inspectors at Ben Gurion Airport's passenger hall, is conducting an investigation against Ezra on suspicion of smuggling the funds. According to the request, during an inspection by the security personnel of the Airports Authority during the Pentecost, Ezra was caught while leaving Israel for Greece when 475,695 euros in cash were removed in a suitcase that was sent to the belly of the plane.

According to the tax authority, Ezra was arrested and questioned at the offices of the investigating unit this morning and gave his version. "During his interrogation, he admitted that he knew that there was a duty to declare money out of the country, but he claimed that he did not declare the money because he did not know where to declare money when leaving the country." The arrest request also stated that Ezra said during his interrogation that the funds were intended to be paid to contractors who worked on the renovation of a holiday home he purchased in Corfu, Greece.
In response to a question about the source of the funds that were used by him to purchase the currency from exchangers, Ezra claimed that these were collected by him over the past few years and withdrawn in cash from his private accounts.
According to the Tax Authority in the application, "Dudi Ezra did not know how to provide identifying details about the exchanges from which the foreign currency was purchased and did not present to his investigators the receipts or references for the purchase of the foreign currency."
Advocate Yoav Sennes, Ezra's defense attorney, agreed during the court hearing on Ezra's release on restrictive terms, "without admitting the alleged offenses." He said, "The money was placed in a suitcase ... The said money is Mr. Ezra's money for which tax was paid religiously and lawfully and soothingly, the matter is a technical violation and nothing more," the defense attorney added. Throughout this period he acted with integrity and never adhered to a flaw in his conduct ", noting that he is cooperating with the authorities in the investigation.
The Tax Authority noted in its application to the court that the sections of the offenses in which Ezra is suspected are under the VAT Law and the Anti-Money Laundering Law, noting that the investigation is still in its infancy.
Jerusalem Justice of the Peace Amir Shaked ordered Ezra's release under the following restrictive conditions: NIS 500,000 self-guarantee deposits, NIS 100,000 third-party guarantee (signed by Neto Ami Goldin), passport deposit, delay in leaving the country for 90 days, until September (however, he is allowed to leave until then, subject to the deposit of NIS 100,000 and prior approval), failure to contact those involved in the affair and an undertaking to appear for questioning.
According to the Anti-Money Laundering Law, a person who leaves Israel or enters it by sea or air with an amount of more than NIS 50,000 must report it. At the entrance or exit at a land crossing - such as through the crossings into the Gaza Strip, Egypt and Jordan - the report should be above the sum of NIS 12,000.
Ezra is suspected, as stated, of trying to leave Israel through the airport with cash without any report, in an amount that is 34 times the amount that requires reporting to the tax authorities - about NIS 1.7 million.
In addition, Ezra is also charged with violating another section of the Anti-Money Laundering Law regarding the submission of false information for the purpose of not lawfully reporting under the law, and Ezra also suspects that because he did not report and provide details about spending as he must, he also violated a section of the VAT Law. M.
On behalf of Dudi Ezra, it was stated in response: "Mr. Dudi Ezra was questioned on suspicion of withdrawing cash from Israel without lawful reporting and was released on restrictive conditions after several hours. Mr. David Ezra stated that the funds were intended for payment in a private transaction abroad." The suspicion against Mr. Ezra is in the technical offense of not reporting the withdrawal of funds from Israel, since these are reported funds for which Mr. Ezra legally paid full tax. "Mr. Ezra is confident that the issue will be clarified and come to an end in the coming days, and he is cooperating fully with the authorities."
In the afternoon, Neto Holdings issued a report to the stock exchange and wrote: "Following media reports, the company is honored to report that on June 6, 2002, it was informed by David Ezra, chairman of the company's board, that he was being questioned by the Customs and VAT Department." Unreported, allegedly violating the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Law, 2000, and released under restrictive conditions. The suspicions on which Mr. David Ezra was interrogated as aforesaid are not related to the company or the fulfillment of his role in it. The company estimates that the aforesaid will have no effect on its business and operations. "
The Ezra family currently owns 24.06% of the net holdings worth NIS 181 million. This is after between June and September 2021, the family sold 22.78% of the net shares to David Matsa, the owners of the poultry and broiler company Nur Yaska, for a cumulative amount of NIS 270 million.
Ezra Bento's holding is done through "Ezra Family Loyalty" to which Dudi Ezra transferred in April 2016, without consideration, control of the food import company. The beneficiary registered in the trust is his son Adi Ezra. The son holds a power of attorney from the trust to vote on her behalf at general meetings of the company. Adi Ezra's wife is model Bar Refaeli, who herself was convicted of tax evasion of tens of millions of shekels together with her mother Tzipi Refaeli.



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