Interior Ministry D-G suspected of real estate bribes

By
October 20, 2010 03:55

Police allege Gabi Maimon involved in illegal purchase of Yad Binyamin land.

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Interior Ministry Director-General Gabi Maimon

58_Gabi Maimon. (photo credit: Courtesy)

New details emerged on Tuesday from a police investigation into an alleged real estate bribery affair which resulted in the arrests of Interior Ministry Director-General Gabi Maimon and eight additional suspects on Monday.

Maimon and two additional suspects, including Nahal Sorek Regional Council head Eli Eskozido, were released to house arrest on Tuesday.

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According to suspicions, Maimon was involved in a fraudulent purchase of two plots of land in the religious town of Yad Binyamin, near Gedera, which were reserved for evacuees from Gush Katif.

Police suspect Maimon, in collaboration with Eskozido, arranged for the plots to be sold to a man and his mother, named as Moshe and Shoshana Friedman, who qualified for the land tender, in a bid to circumvent restrictions which forbade him from making the purchase.

A police source told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the Friedmans were paid to act as straw purchasers on behalf of Maimon.

Maimon is suspected of fraud, money laundering, and forgery, although the alleged acts were unconnected with his position as director-general of the Interior Ministry, Tel Aviv Magistrate Judge Dorit Reich- Shapira said during the remand hearing on Monday.

Eskozido is suspected of forgery, fraud, and breach of public office, as well as illegal use of property.

A police source told the Post on Monday that the investigation was focused on five plots of land, adding that it was “much smaller in scope” than the recent Holyland bribery affair.

Maimon is the appointee of his long-time close Shas party confidant, Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

The police’s National Economic Crimes Unit said more arrests could be forthcoming.


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