Pandora Papers: Teddy Sagi, Idan and Eyal Ofer named in latest documents

Billionaire Idan Ofer purportedly used a 50-meter yacht owned by a company based in the Virgin Islands to secure a 15 million euro loan from Credit Suisse in 2015

Idan Ofer with his late father Sammy Ofer. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)
Idan Ofer with his late father Sammy Ofer. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Israeli billionaires Teddy Sagi and brothers Idan and Eyal Ofer are among the latest figures named in the “Pandora Papers,” a trove of nearly 12 million leaked documents detailing the financial secrets of the rich and famous around the globe.

Some 565 Israelis are listed in the Pandora Papers, published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, according to Shomrim, an Israeli investigative journalism nonprofit organization that took part in the investigation.

Those previously named include Likud MK Nir Barkat, former justice minister Haim Ramon, Arnon Milchan — a movie mogul and witness in the corruption trial against Benjamin Netanyahu, mining magnate Beny Steinmetz and many others.

The documents detail secretive financial transactions carried out by the wealthy individuals — many of which are legal in Israel — often aimed at hiding assets offshore or concealing their connections to businesses and other financial endeavors and holdings.

In the latest trove of documents released on Wednesday, details were revealed about transactions by the Ofer brothers, Sagi — who was allegedly the recent target of a plot to harm Israelis in Cyprus — Moshe Hogeg, an entrepreneur and the owner of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team, and Eytan Stibbe, who is slated to become the second Israeli in space early next year.

According to the documents cited by Shomrim, Eyal Ofer — who is said to be worth about $11.5 billion — is the owner of a secret fund set up in the Cayman Islands named Ark that he inherited from his father, Sammy Ofer. Ark is also linked to a secretive company set up in the Virgin Islands named Elm Holdings Group — which is listed as being owned by a shipping company in Liberia.

Eyal’s brother, Idan Ofer, whose estimated worth is $6.5 billion, is said to own a company headquartered in the Virgin Islands named Better Place, whose holdings include a 50-meter yacht that was used as a guarantee for a 15 million euro loan from Credit Suisse in 2015.

Teddy Sagi (Courtesy)

According to Shomrim, Sagi — said to be worth around $5.4 billion — is linked to around 60 companies that are headquartered in known tax havens.

Hogeg, a venture capitalist and chairman of the Blockchain Research Institute at Tel Aviv University, is also mentioned multiple times in the Pandora Papers, said Shomrim. One such mention comes from a 2014 deal where a Singaporean company called Dragon Fortune bought a million shares in Hogeg’s startup, Mobli, for about $20 million. The man behind Dragon Fortune was a Kazakh multi-millionaire named Dinmukhamet Idrissov.

As was previously reported, Stibbe was one of the founders of the LR Group, which allegedly sold weapons to Angola during its bloody civil war — charges Stibbe has denied. According to Shomrim, though Stibbe claims to have sold his shares in the LR Group in 2011, he continued to be linked to the company for several years.

Eytan Stibbe, set to become Israel’s ‘second astronaut in space,’ speaks at the president’s residence on November 16, 2020. (Mark Neyman / GPO)

The leaked trove of documents is being dubbed the “Pandora Papers” because the findings shed light on the previously hidden dealings of the elite and the corrupt, and how they have used offshore accounts to shield assets collectively worth trillions of dollars. Some 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries worked on the report, released earlier this month by the ICIJ.

More than a dozen heads of state and government, including the king of Jordan and the Czech prime minister, have amassed vast fortunes in secret offshore assets, according to the investigation. Political repercussions from the leaked documents are echoing across the globe.

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