Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair reportedly left thousands of dollars in unpaid bills at a Brazilian hotel when he accompanied his parents on an official visit to the South American country.
The total amount due for Netanyahu’s four-night stay at the Hilton Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, which was considered a private trip and therefore not on the state’s dime, is 9,820 Brazilian reals, or about $2,560, the Haaretz daily reported Monday.
Yair traveled with his parents to Brazil at the end of December, when the prime minister went to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. The younger Netanyahu flew with the prime minister and stayed at the same hotel as his parents.
At the time, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement to media that all of the costs for the prime minister’s son would be covered by the Netanyahu family.
“That is the way it has always been, and so it will be also with Yair’s planned travel to Brazil,” the statement said.
The younger Netanyahu stayed from December 28 to 31. The cost for the first two nights, including room service, laundry and tax was 1,836 reals per night ($478), and the final two night were 2,827 real ($736) each, apparently due to the end-of-year celebrations, the report said.
Hoping to settle the account, the hotel has since contacted the Foreign Ministry, which was unable to help out as it has no procedure for budgeting a private trip as part of an official visit by the prime minister, according to the report.
“We are not familiar with the matter,” the ministry said in a statement. “We direct you to the Prime Minister’s Office.”
“All of the travel costs of the prime minister’s son are fully paid for by the Netanyahu family,” the PMO said in a statement. “The family received the bill just a few days ago and will pay as expected.”
The PMO did not responded to a request for comment on how the cost of Yair’s flight was covered, Haaretz said.
Yair Netanyahu has previously drawn media criticism for a life of excess at public expense, including an incident last year when recordings made during a night of debauchery in Tel Aviv strip clubs were revealed.