Police make arrests in corruption case

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
February 15, 2007 20:46

Businessman, 70, suspected of trying to offer bribes to government officials.

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Police revealed that they had made arrests in two previously-unknown government-related corruption cases Thursday, the latest in a series of seemingly-unending allegations that have reached almost every ministry in the government. The Economic Crimes Unit arrested a second suspect on Thursday in a case that had been previously undercover, in which they believe that officials in the National Insurance Institute were offered bribes to pad the way for cushy real-estate deals. On Sunday a 70-year-old Jerusalem businessman was arrested under suspicion of involvement with bribery in exchange for advancing the real estate projects for contractors and entrepreneurs. An additional suspect - also a businessman - was arrested on Thursday, also under suspicion of offering bribes. Both of their remands were extended by four days in the Ramle Magistrate's Court. Although no government officials have been arrested yet in that case, police revealed that a senior supervisor at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Commerce was arrested Wednesday on allegations of bribery in a second, unrelated case. Police said that they believe that the official received bribes from businessmen who had received fines for employing foreign workers in exchange for closing the case files against the businessmen. The supervisor, a 38-year-old Holon resident, allegedly sought out people whose case files were borderline and then approached the employers, offering to close the files against them in exchange for up to NIS 1000. The supervisor was also suspected of accepting payments in exchange for stealing personal information from Interior Ministry databases. The case was turned over to police Wednesday after internal oversight mechanisms within the ministry submitted an official complaint about the employee to the Tel Aviv District. When questioned by police, the supervisor refused to cooperate with investigators.


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