Travel, luxury watches, a mess of cash and a million dollars: the “swindler of the century”, Arnaud Mimran, also suspected of three murders, talks a lot in prison about his friend “Bibi”, while his cell and his visiting rooms were sounded with microphones. He also talks about French MP Meyer Habib.
More than three thousand kilometers from Israel, the name of the country’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, resonated in a strange place: a French cell. More precisely at the Le Havre penitentiary center (Seine-Maritime), where a close friend of the head of the Israeli government, businessman Arnaud Mimran, is serving several prison sentences.
His record of service is particularly heavy: sentenced at first instance and on appeal to eight years in prison for the gigantic carbon quota scam also called “the heist of the century”; sentenced at first instance and on appeal to thirteen years of criminal imprisonment for the kidnapping, sequestration and extortion of funds of a Turkish-Swiss financier; and finally placed in provisional detention after his indictment for having ordered three murders, including that of a former accomplice of the carbon mafia but also that of his former father-in-law, the billionaire Claude Dray — he denies all the murders and benefits from the presumption of innocence for these.
The friendly proximity and especially the links of hidden interests between Benyamin Netanyahu and Arnaud Mimran hit the headlines in 2016 after a series of joint revelations from Mediapart and the Israeli daily Haaretz, which had uncovered the financing and various liberalities from the first to profit of the second.
In question, payments of money and invitations all expenses paid to Paris, Monaco or Courchevel in the early 2000s, as evidenced by photographs from the time. At that time, Arnaud Mimran, son of a former number 3 of the Vinci group convicted of corruption, was a flamboyant golden boy, certainly already suspected of various insider crimes and in the sights of the tax authorities, but with a charm to all test.
This financial relationship was first vigorously denied by Benyamin Netanyahu, nicknamed “Bibi” in his country, then subsequently recognized in a succession of versions that were as contradictory as they were embarrassing.
The bond between Mimran and Netanyahu had endured. Certain sources had thus assured Mediapart that the “crook of the century” had discussed with Netanyahu in 2009 in a small committee in a hotel in Tel Aviv his election at the head of the country – the study of Mimran’s return trips to Israel had confirmed its presence during this period, which also corresponded to the culmination of the carbon quota scam, which was partly piloted from Israel.
On the trail of possible suspicious electoral financing, the Israeli justice system announced that it would look into the file, before abandoning any idea of an in-depth investigation.
The criminal and the prime minister
End of the story ? not so sure. Because in his prison, Arnaud Mimran is bored. And he talks a lot. On the telephone, in particular, and with all kinds of correspondents. Long discussions of which the police officers of the Paris criminal brigade did not miss a beat. Indeed, as authorized by law, his cell and his visiting rooms were sounded between July 2019 and April 2021 at the request of the judges who are investigating the assassinations for which he is now accused. In short, monitoring is carried out using microphones discreetly placed in its absence.
Carbon quota fraud
Sometimes called “the heist of the century”, the carbon quota scam cost French taxpayers at least 1.6 billion euros, stolen under the nose of the State in the space of only eight months, between October 2008 and June 2009.
Several gangs of crooks had succeeded in infiltrating, by means of fictitious companies and front men, the market for “rights to pollute”, called Bluenext, where it was possible to speculate on the sale and purchase of carbon quotas. allocated to polluting industrial sectors. The crooks took advantage of a flaw in the system and a lack of control which allowed them to reduce the VAT applied to these new type of financial products.
Among the illegal networks identified by the courts, one of the most active was that known as “Belleville”, made up of two children from the famous district of North-East Paris, Samy Souied and Marco Mouly. They then joined forces with a “golden jacket” from the 16th arrondissement, a former trader named Arnaud Mimran, to form an infernal trio who would succeed in Mourner, alone, 285 million euros.
The content of these interceptions recently submitted to the procedure, of which Mediapart was able to become aware, today not only confirms what has already been written on the Mimran/Netanyahu relationship, but sheds even harsher light on the exact nature of the troubled link which unites the imprisoned criminal and the man most powerful politician in Israel.
September 24, 2023 Published by The Mediapart News.