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Ex-knesset Member Taken into Custody on Suspicion of Fraud, Conspiracy

May 2, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Shmuel Flatto-Sharon, a former Knesset member who used parliamentary immunity to avoid extradition to France, was ordered held in custody for six days Friday by a Tel Aviv magistrate.

The police accuse him of fraud and the embezzlement of $9 million from Swiss firms, conspiracy to commit a crime and passing bad checks.

He also is believed to be under investigation for his alleged involvement in large-scale, illegal currency transfers, via the administered territories, to Europe.

Flatto-Sharon, still a fugitive from French justice, was arrested Thursday at his luxurious villa in the fashionable Savyon suburb of Tel Aviv. His arrest culminated a six-month police investigation of which few details have been released.

Police who searched his home Thursday hauled out crates of documents. They reportedly found a small quantity of hashish and unlicensed firearms. Flatto-Sharon cooperated in the search, opening his safes for the police. Three of his associates have also been detained.

Flatto-Sharon, once described as a multimillionaire, fled to Israel from France in the late 1970s to escape arrest on charges of embezzlement and fraud.

Extradition proceedings were under way when Flatto-Sharon managed to get himself elected to the Knesset, where he sat as a one-man independent faction. Many said he bought the votes in order to enjoy parliamentary immunity.

He served one term and was later disqualified on grounds of election fraud.

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