Israel Police Reportedly Investigating Netanyahu's Ties to Billionaire Poju Zabludowicz

Zabludowicz, a magnate living in Britain with many business interests in Israel, is not yet a criminal suspect, but police want to know if he gave any gifts to Netanyahu.

Poju Zabludowicz
Screenshot/Twitter

The Israel Police are looking into the affairs of yet another billionaire with alleged ties to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on suspicions that he, too, gave the prime minister gifts, Channel 10 reported on Thursday.

The newest billionaire in question is reportedly Chaim "Poju" Zabludowicz, a Finnish-British magnate and art collector with many business interests in Israel, namely in the telecom and media industries.

The report stressed that he has not been questioned under caution, which indicates suspicion of criminal activity, and he is not a suspect in the probe into favors allegedly received by Netanyahu, which the police have dubbed “Case 1000.”

That investigation centers on billionaire Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer and one of the owners of Israel's Channel 10. Milchan testified that the Netanyahus would ask him to buy them cigars and pink champagne costing hundreds of thousands of shekels. Haaretz reported earlier this week that the police are now investigating other items the Netanyahus allegedly received from the businessman.

Channel 10's Raviv Drucker reported that Zabludowicz is known to have funded flights for Netanyahu and his wife Sara, but the police are investigating whether he has provided the Netanyahus with gifts in recent years.

Zabludowicz founded in 2001 BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre. The Guardian reported in 2011 that Zabludowicz, whose father Shlomo Zabludowicz made a fortune with Israeli defense contractor Soltam, had donated 1.4 million pounds in two years to the British think tank.

An art collector, patron of the arts and philanthropist, Zabludowicz and his wife Anita donated money to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer for the opening of the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases.