Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is enmeshed in a roiling scandal over his connections to Seadrift Coke, a Texas-based firm previously owned by his cousin Nathan Milikowsky. Netanyahu made a return of over 700 percent from the company’s stock, which he purchased in 2007 and sold in 2010.
HuffPost has learned that while Netanyahu held Seadrift’s stock, another company owned by Milikowsky, C/G Electrodes, was charged by the U.S. Department of Commerce with selling electrodes to Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya in 2007 and 2008, in violation of U.S. nuclear nonproliferation regulations. During that time, Seadrift Coke was the main supplier of raw materials to C/G Electrodes, which means that Netanyahu likely benefited from the Libya sales ― raising even more questions about the scandal-plagued prime minister, with the country holding a general election next week.
The documents related to the Commerce investigation do not detail which Libyan entity purchased the materials, which are essential in the production of steel for various industries.
Commerce charged the company for the illegal sales to Libya on 23 occasions. The shipments, several of which went through Canada, were valued at $6.8 million. The agency fined the company $250,000 as part of a settlement agreement.
In August 2007 ― a month after the Libyan transactions began ― Netanyahu purchased shares in C/G Electrodes’ main supplier of raw material, Seadrift Coke. Since both companies were controlled by Milikowsky and Seadrift had binding supply agreements with C/G Electrodes to supply the majority of the raw material required to make graphite electrodes, the business ties between Seadrift and C/G Electrodes suggest that Netanyahu likely benefited from his cousin’s Libya dealings.