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Roman Abramovich. Picture: REUTERS/DYLAN MARTINEZ
Roman Abramovich. Picture: REUTERS/DYLAN MARTINEZ

Gunvant Govindjee correctly comments that Zionist hasbara propagandist Allan Wolman is becoming increasingly deluded in his efforts to smear SA ( “Israel a more alluring safe haven for Russian oligarchs than SA”, March 22). As a former US ambassador to Israel in 2009 reported back to Washington, “Israel has become the promised land for organised crime”. 

Many, perhaps even most, of the notorious Russian oligarchs are dual Russian-Israeli citizens, including , who  recently fled from London to Tel Aviv. Whatever made Wolman assume the oligarchs would want to come to SA, let alone that they would be welcome? ( “ANC would probably welcome oligarchs with open arms”, March 16)?

The reality is that Israeli gangsters continue to plunder Africa.  The Democratic Republic of Congo and its natural resources, in demand by the “First World’s” war business, were looted by Dan Gertler in return for Israeli protection for presidents Laurent and Joseph Kabila (father and son). Gertler is currently negotiating a stay-out-of-jail arrangement with the US authorities.

Beny Steinmetz has been convicted in Switzerland for money laundering and payment of bribes in Guinea over the notorious Simandou iron ore scandal, and is also trying to stay out of jail. In pursuit of Angolan diamonds (with collusion of the French government) Arcadi Gaydamak and his partner, Lev Leviev, were largely responsible for the “Angolagate” arms deal scandal during the 1990s, and the consequent devastation of Angola. Leviev, the so-called king of diamonds who proudly boasted how he broke the De Beers diamond cartel, is now back in Russia but is reportedly down to his last $1bn.

Interestingly, the current two hour Netflix documentary, The Tinder Swindler, dramatises how an Israeli crook posing as Leviev’s son, Simon, swindled $10m from gullible women. The Times of Israel newspaper recently revealed how global online fraud has become Israel’s most lucrative and major source of criminal money laundering. Forex and cryptocurrency scams perpetrated by Israeli crime syndicates are carried out against citizens of foreign countries where law enforcement capacities are low (such as SA). 

Meanwhile, former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is playing every trick he can devise to avoid jail on multiple corruption charges. Before removing the crime specks from SA’s eye — including the national conventional arms control committee’s complicity in Saudi/UAE war crimes in Yemen — Wolman would do well to remove the logs from his own.

Terry Crawford-Browne

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