And it seems he was no ordinary spy.
Israel’s secretive LAKAM economic espionage unit, which was tasked with securing technology for Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program, recruited Milchan in the 1960s. At one point, the 69-year-old told Channel 2, he operated 30 companies in 17 different countries.
(Milcharn reportedly became a key operative for LAKAM chief Benjamin Blumberg and top spy Rafi Eitan, who ran jailed spy Jonathan Pollard and infiltrated a U.S. company to obtain tons of highly-enriched uranium.)
Milchen, who is good friends with current Israeli President Shimon Peres, also said that he helped Israel obtain key nuclear equipment and information while Peres established the Dimona nuclear reactor as Director-General of the Ministry of Defence.
Milchan’s company, Heli Trading Co., brokered the shipment of 800 krytons — sophisticated triggers for nuclear weapons — from the California company MILCO International Inc. to the Israeli Ministry of Defence between 1979 and 1983.
In 1985, the U.S. indicted and extradited MILCO President Kelly Smyth on 30 counts of smuggling and making false statements.
Here’s what Smyth told FBI agents in Los Angeles (via IRMEP):
Smyth details his recruitment by Arnon Milchan, meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu who then worked at smuggling front Heli Trading (Milchan Brothers Trading Company) in Israel, and how the “Project Pinto” smuggling operation was rolled up after his arrest for smuggling 800 nuclear triggers and subsequent flight from the U.S.
Milchan denies that he knew about the nuclear triggers, which require a U.S. State Department munitions licence to be exported. In any case, it’s clear that he was integral to Israel’s nuclear program.
Milchan, who still works in Hollywood, has produced over 120 full-length films including “Natural Born Killers,” “Heat,” “Pretty Woman,” “Fight Club,” “L.A. Confidential,” and “The Fountain.”
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