For over a year, a group of men in the Negev filed bogus tax receipts on gasoline shipments in Israel, as part of a NIS 100 million tax evasion and money-laundering scam, Negev sub-district police announced on Monday.

The scam came to light after police and tax authorities carried out a series of predawn raids in the Negev, arresting nine suspects police say are affiliated with organized crime gangs in the Negev. The raids, which came after a nearly yearlong undercover investigation, were carried out at homes, offices, and gas stations where the men allegedly managed the conspiracy.

The men stand to face charges of tax evasion, tax fraud and money laundering.

Head of the YAMAR Negev Commander Dudu Bohani said Monday that the investigation was part of police efforts to fight organized crime by targeting their sources of revenue, in order to “force them to collapse.”

On Monday afternoon the nine suspects will be brought before the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court, where police will seek an extension of their remand.

The case is one in a long series of joint investigations by police and tax authorities against organized crime families in Israel, which have targeted their sources of revenue instead of focusing solely on violent crimes committed by the organizations.

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