Billionaire at centre of trade row dies

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The Independent Online

An Israeli billionaire at the centre of a scandal involving trade with Iran died yesterday in Tel Aviv after a long illness. He was 89.

The shipping magnate Sammy Ofer was listed last year by Forbes as Israel's richest person, and was 109th on the magazine's list of the world's richest people.

Mr Ofer's name had been in the news since the US government sanctioned his company, Ofer Brothers Group, last month for selling an oil tanker to Iran's national shipping company through a Singapore subsidiary – violating American trade restrictions on Iran.

That embarrassed the Ofer family and the Israeli government, which has been a proponent of tighter sanctions on Iran because of the country's nuclear programme.