On 1st July, the Times of Israel published an opinion piece saying that Israel’s law enforcement bodies are not co-operating with their foreign counterparts in tackling financial fraud.  Are they ‘only’ spectacularly incompetent, or something even worse?  The authors claim to have found that, while law enforcement bodies overseas are devoting considerable effort and resources to tackling binary options, forex, cryptocurrency and other financial fraud emanating from Israel, Israeli police and other law enforcement bodies are not co-operating effectively with these efforts, and at times are actively stonewalling them.  Requests for assistance on binary options fraud exceedingly slow and partial response, and in some cases with no response at all, the Times of Israel was told.  The article says that over the last decade, Israel has become a global hub of investment scams, employing more than 10,000 citizens — many of them new immigrants and foreign-language speakers — in boiler rooms throughout the country, selling fraudulent binary options, forex, CFD (contracts for differences) and cryptocurrency investments over the phone and internet to people abroad.  Binary options fraud alone was estimated to be earning between $5 billion and $10 billion a year before it was banned w.e.f, January 26th.  However, some binary options operatives have simply ignored the ban, continuing to offer the product from Israel, while others now sell fraudulent forex or cryptocurrency investments, and still others have moved their operations abroad to countries including Russia, Ukraine, Philippines, Panama, Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Serbia.  The article also raises the question of possible corruption, citing Transparency International’s Global Corruption report of 2013 where 51% of Israelis surveyed believe that Israeli police are corrupt or extremely corrupt.  The article says that a former income tax commissioner was a founder of Israel’s first binary options company.  For the last decade Israel has maintained a tax policy that exempts new immigrants and returning Israelis not only from paying tax for 10 years on income earned abroad – under its Law of return, but also from declaring the sources of that income — said to encourage the influx of dirty money.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: