Six firms defrauded IDF of millions – ministry

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February 8, 2013 03:42

Defense Ministry suspends transactions with six electronics and communications companies over suspicions of IDF.

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IDF mobile facilities.

IDF mobile facilities 370. (photo credit:IDF Spokesman)

The Defense Ministry temporarily suspended all transactions with six electronics and communications companies over suspicions that they defrauded the IDF of millions of shekels.

According to suspicions, a non-commissioned officer in the IDF’s Northern Command inflated orders of equipment from the companies.

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In exchange, the companies provided him with a “redit line allowing him to buy tablet phones, smartphones, meals in restaurants, free holiday home rentals and other illicit benefits.

The officer allegedly distributed the benefits he received to relatives as well.

Military Police launched an investigation last year after receiving intelligence that a non-commissioned officer, who was responsible for purchasing telecommunications equipment, exploited his authority to purchase items worth millions of shekels that are not included in the Defense Ministry’s contract.

“He has confessed to all of the suspicions, and said he purchased expensive equipment from suppliers for years,” the ministry said in a statement.

In some cases, the purchases were completely fictitious, as the items did not arrive, but rather, credit vouchers arrived in their place.

The Defense Ministry’s Investigations Unit joined the Military Police in the investigation, and raided the officer’s home, seizing some of the equipment he allegedly purchased.

The suppliers, for their part, allegedly submitted false invoices to the Defense Ministry, declaring the provision of equipment and services that were never delivered. “This activity was carried out with the full knowledge of the companies’ management,” the ministry said. “They admitted to carrying out the acts, and attempted to excuse themselves by saying they thought they were benefiting the IDF.”

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