Gaydamak takes 'business trip' after paying $2.5-m bond

Police confirm ban preventing Russian born billionaire, accused of money laundering, from leaving country was lifted.

gaydamak aj 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
gaydamak aj 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Billionaire businessman Arkadi Gaydamak left Israel for a 10-day business trip to Russia, he said Friday. Police confirmed that having deposited the 2.5-million dollar bond ordered by the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court, the ban preventing him from leaving the country had been removed. The police added that they were aware in advance of his approaching departure. Gaydamak has faced a long-standing police investigation into allegations of money laundering, and was last questioned in mid-May at the Serious and International Crime Unit's (SICU) Petah Tikva Headquarters. He vehemently denies reports that in 2000, he transferred nearly half-a-million shekels out of a Bank Hapoalim account as part of a larger money laundering scheme. Gaydamak moved to Israel following a French extradition order for his alleged involvement in the sale of Russian arms to Angola from 1993-2000. His party, Social Justice, recently participated in the local elections, with Gaydamak heading the list in the Jerusalem mayoral race. Gaydamak won only four percent of the vote, following which he declared his involvement in Israeli politics over. He is also well known in the Israeli public for his philanthropic endeavors and ownership of Betar Jerusalem Football Club. The international tycoon has recently admitted to suffering heavy losses in his Israeli businesses, which he eventually terminated. He was also busy fending off various international financial suits. Gaydamak reportedly sold six penthouse apartments in Ramat Gan's Aviv Tower, as well as radio station Radio 99. Social Justice party chairman Ya'akov Nordetsky stressed that in a recent conversation with Gaydamak, he received no indication of the latter's possible intent to leave indefinitely. Betar Jerusalem said that it expected Gaydamak to return to Israel.