Criminal syndicates are behind Israel’s Binary Options industry, police tells Knesset panel

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Continuing our coverage of Israel’s Binary Options Law, which this week is being debated in the Knesset’s Reforms Committee, presentations at yesterday’s meeting included riveting and quite pointed testimony from representatives of Israel’s police.

Israel’s police, which was noticeably absent from Monday’s initial debate at the committee, was indeed present on Wednesday with Police Chief Superintendent Rafi Biton speaking and making some very harsh points before the committee, chaired by Kulanu party member Rachel Azaria.

Mr. Biton stated that on the one hand it has been very hard for the police to gather enough evidence in most cases for a proper prosecution, since much of the activity happened abroad – location of servers, some employees, offshore companies, and clients in places such as Arab countries where it is not really possible for Israeli police to conduct interviews,

However Mr. Biton’s most harsh statements, lobbying in favour of a full ban of the Binary Options sector from the country as the currently worded bill allows, involved saying that the Binary Options industry in the country has attracted a number of ‘criminal elements’, attracted by the easy money.

Newspaper Haaretz in quoting Chief Superintendent Rafi Biton:

In recent years the phenomenon has turned into a monster. There has been a massive movement of criminal elements that gravitate from one field to another and have now come to this.

It’s true that there are some countries that allow activities like this, like they allow prostitution, drugs, etc. But in Israel gambling isn’t permitted.

It’s tremendously difficult to assemble enough evidence for filing an indictment. They establish companies in countries where the law allows them to, and the servers they use are largely not in Israel. The victims are in Arab and other countries where it is difficult to obtain testimonies.

As we reported earlier this week, the bill has already been watered down from its original intention of making it illegal for Israel-based brokerages to market or take clients from countries where the broker isn’t duly licensed. That will still be allowed, as long as the product being offered doesn’t fit the narrow description of ‘Binary Option’.

We also exclusively reported that the bill will not become effective law until, at earliest, the end of January 2018.

Final presentations in the Reforms Committee are scheduled for later today. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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