search

Jailed Jewish millionaire linked to Israeli cabinet members

Serge Muller held in a Montenegro prison amid allegations of international drug trafficking, money laundering

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, right, with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin as they arrive at the weekly cabinet meeting, Jerusalem, May 26, 2015. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/FLASH90)
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, right, with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin as they arrive at the weekly cabinet meeting, Jerusalem, May 26, 2015. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/FLASH90)

A European Jewish millionaire who’s been held in a Montenegro prison for more than three months on suspicion of involvement in an international drugs ring has ties with several prominent Israeli politicians, Channel 2 reported on Tuesday.

Serge Muller is a personal acquaintance of former justice minister Yaakov Neeman as well as current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, the report said, claiming he donated funds to the Likud party and maintains ties with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.

Two of the ministers named in the TV report were quick to deny direct involvement with Muller.

“Minister Erdan does not know the man and has never met him,” a statement from the minister’s office said. “Hundreds of people donated to the minister’s campaign and the donations were all legal.”

Serge Muller, photo undated. (Rex Mining)
Serge Muller, photo undated. (Rex Mining)

Levin’s office said that “the minister does not know Mr. Muller and was not aware of the allegations. Had he known, he would not accept the donations.”

The Muller family responded to the claims saying “the family donated over the years to the Zionist enterprise, the State of Israel and those who seek its benefit, all according to the law and without expecting any recompense, even in retrospect.”

Muller, 59, a Belgian citizen, was arrested in Montenegro following a ceremony sealing the sale of Montenegro Defense Industry (MDI) to Belgrade-based CPR Impex and Israeli ATL Atlantic Technology Ltd., on March 4 according to reports. The arrest came after Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Muller.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked at the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem, May 17, 2015 (Flash90/Dudi Vaknin, Pool)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked at the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem, May 17, 2015 (Flash90/Dudi Vaknin, Pool)

A May 2015 report from the Times of India said the international arrest warrant was issued for Muller over his alleged involvement in an international cocaine ring, laundering of drug money, and membership in a criminal organization.

He was arrested by Antwerp Police just as he was attempting to cross into Albania. Muller is a well-known figure in Europe’s diamond capital of Antwerp.

When he was arrested near the Albanian border, he was on his way to the airport in Tirana, en route to catch a flight to Israel, according to the website Eurasia Review.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed