Picture Credit: CEN/@EhudAryeLaniado
A billionaire diamond trader has died during a penis enlargement operation at a posh Parisian clinic.
Wealthy Ehud Arye Laniado died at the age of 65 in the clinic of an unnamed plastic surgeon on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in the French capital Paris.
According to local media, complications during surgery proved fatal for the Belgian-Israeli dual national and he suffered a heart attack when a substance was injected into his penis.
Laniado’s company Omega Diamonds, which is based in the Belgian city of Antwerp where most of the world’s top diamond traders are based, confirmed his passing.
A statement read: “Farewell to a visionary businessman. It is with great sadness that we confirm that our founder Ehud Arye Laniado has passed away.”
According to media reports, the short-statured Laniado suffered from Napoleon complex, a theorised psychological condition characterised by aggressive social behaviour to compensate for the person’s diminutive physique.
An old friend of Laniado, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The Argentinian, that is what we used to call him at Omega Diamonds because he looked like a tango dancer.
The old friend said that Laniado was “always focused on his appearance and how others perceived him”.
According to Laniado’s friends, the only time he forgot about his short height was when he asked his accountant to read out his bank statement, something which he did multiple times a day.
Laniado reportedly owned the most expensive penthouse in Monaco worth over 30 million GBP, as well as a house in the plush LA suburb of Bel Air where he loved to drink bottles of Chateau Margaux with models and celebrities.
According to local media, Laniado did not go to university and he started off his career as a masseuse at the Hilton hotel in Tel Aviv.
A friend said: “In Antwerp, it turned out that he did have some talents. Internationally, he was one of the biggest experts in valuing raw diamonds.”
In 2015, Laniado sold the world’s most expensive diamond called the Blue Moon of Josephine to Hong Kong businessman and convicted felon Joseph Lau Luen Hung for 48.4 million USD (36.8 million GBP).
The Belgian-Israeli billionaire, whose exact fortune is not publicly known, got in trouble with the authorities in 2013.
According to local media, Laniado and his business partner Sylvain Goldberg prevented a tax evasion trial by agreeing to payout 160 million EUR (137.7 million GBP).
However, as the Belgian customs office suspected them of lying or giving incomplete information about some of the diamonds imported from Angola and Congo, they still claimed 4.6 billion EUR (4 billion GBP) in unpaid taxes as well as a 2-billion-EUR (1.7-billion GBP) fine.
Even though two courts dismissed the Belgian customs office’s claim, an appeals court ordered a new trial with Laniado due to appear in court on 14th March, although his seat in the dock will now be empty.