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Controversial trader Marc Rich dies

Controversial trader Marc Rich dies
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The man who was known as the ‘King of Oil’ has died. Billionaire Marc Rich, who invented oil trading in the 1970s, suffered a stroke at the age of 78.

The most successful – and controversial – trader of his time, Rich had been living in Switzerland.

He fled there in 1983 to avoid charges of breaking US sanctions by selling Iranian oil to, among others, the apartheid regime in South Africa.

He was also accused of massive tax evasion and a whole raft of other white-collar crimes.

Under threat of a life sentence in a US jail, Rich was pardoned by President Bill Clinton, a move that provoked moral outrage.

Clinton later said he regretted the pardon, which followed a plea for clemency from the then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak.

Rich’s colouful life included assisting the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad.

He was also part owner of the 20th Century Fox at one time, having bought 50 percent of the film studio as a tax shelter.

Belgian-born Rich, who fled the Holocaust with his parents for America, is to be buried at Kibbutz Einat cemetery near Tel Aviv.