Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Ever Happened to...? Arkady Gaydamak

It was only yesterday, when it looked like Arkady Gaydamak would be taking over Israel.  He had bought the hearts of many Israelis by rescuing them from Arab terrorist missiles, hosting great massive parties, supporting cult-like sports clubs.  Then he disappeared.  Rumors of serious legal problems spread.  And apparently the rumors were true, because now he's jailed in France.
"A French court on Tuesday sentenced Russian-born Israeli mogul Arcadi Gaydamak, who is also a French citizen, to six years in prison and a five million euro fine for his role in illegal arms deals in the 1990s."
I'm sure you've heard the saying that if something sounds "too good to be true, that's probably the case."  I guess that is a good description of Gaydamak's "contribution" to Israel.


Keli Ata said...

Wow. When I read that he was arrested I thought it would be for something like corruption, bribes or something involving finances since he seemed to have so much to throw around and he seemed to have a political agenda.

But illegal arms sales? G-d I hope it wasn't terrorism related.

:( I just wish someone would be compassionate and caring to Israelis without having an ulterior motive.

Batya said...

Consider it big time corruption. He's better than Olmert who used his money only for himself.
Arms deals are of course major big league money.

Unknown said...

OK I see in the Haaretz article that it is really a criminal offense and not something like getting the Mirage plans to Israel. I think that you should have quoted the relevant part.

"The tycoon and his partner, Pierre Falcone, were the central suspects in the case. According to the conviction, the two won the rights to represent in France the Slovak company OSOS-ZTS. Through this company, the businessman sold Russian weapons to the Angolan government - at the time when a civil war was raging there.
The deal was worth some $791 million dollars, and included 420 tanks, 12 helicopters, a warship and hundreds of thousands of shells and mines.

The two are also charged with involvement in smaller arms deals in Africa. Gaydamak is also charged with tax offenses and fraud."

Keli Ata said...

Hmmm. A Russian selling arms to an African government while at the same time he schmoozes and tries to gain the confidences of Israelis.

Now why does one word pop into my head--ENTEBBE.

josh said...

Keli, one thing happenned before the other.

He wasn't arrested in France, merely tried, convicted nnd sentenced in there in absentia. He's been living in Russia since his finances got into trouble here and he fled the country. He did not disappear and it was quite expected that he would bolt, but at the time, the courts had no legal right to prevent his 'escape' and full details of his troubles were not known, only part of it.

His dealings w/r to Angola were know when he got here, and his wealth was widely attributed to this and other dealings. It was an interesting time having him here throwing money around. Too bad he did not buy Tiv Taam in the end, but for the better letting it die a painful (hopefully soon upcoming) demise.

Batya said...

keli, Entebbi was 33 years ago, predating Gaydamak. What was he doing then?

Josh, yes, he threw around money, amazing amounts. Israelis love scoundrals. Do you remember that French crook who made it into Knesset, Flatto-Sharon?

Gaydamak had delusions of taking over the country, but I think his fellow Russians were too wary and suspicious.

Keli Ata said...

I know he predated Entebbe. No connection between him and Entebbe whatsoever, but reading of arms sales and a connection to an African nation just made me think of Entebbe for some reason.

Just a word association thing:) First impression.

Batya said...

Entebbe was the first. I don't know what he was doing then.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I think Keli Ani got mixed up with words.

He meant to use a word that is the opposite of predated - but he couldn't think of a word, and he fell back upon "predated" It's more Tip of the tongue syndrome than a mistake in concept.

Postdated might do but doesn't sound very good.

I think he could have said:

"I know Entebbe predated him."


"I know he was (long) after Entebbe"

If he didn't mean that, the rest of the comment ending with "Just a word association thing:) First impression." doesn't really make any sense.

You were right taht what he said didn't add up, but you didn't correctly spot where the flaw was.

He just used the wrong word, that's all. Not pre-dated, but postdated.

Sammy Finkelman said...

All that the latest news really tells you is that - what everybody thought was his motive (except possibly for some fawning reporters) probably was.

Batya said...

Gaydamak wanted power and used his money to buy what he could.