Israel's IAI "paid $155m to two firms linked to Azeri money laundering"

Israel's IAI

PanARMENIAN.Net - Israel’s largest aerospace and aviation manufacturer transferred at least $155 million to two companies associated with huge-scale money laundering for the Azerbaijani government, according to leaked bank reports for the period 2012-2014, cited by Israel's Center for Media and Democracy (Shomrim).

The reason for these payments by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, which produces aerial and astronautic systems for both military and civilian usage, remains unclear.

The story came to light as part of a huge leak involving thousands of banking documents that ultimately ended up in the hands of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

A Shomrim investigation reveals that the funds were transferred shortly after IAI signed one of its largest-ever business deals with the Azerbaijani government. A source familiar with the particulars of the deal claims, however, that to the best of his knowledge, it did not include an agreement regarding payment to any intermediary. IAI chose not to dispel the fog surrounding the nature of the payments and refrained from responding to questions as to the background of the transfers.

The payments appear in more than a dozen Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) compiled by Deutsche Bank officials and submitted to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, the U.S. Treasury Department entity responsible for detecting illegal financial activity, including money laundering and funding for terrorism.

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