Diamond Exchange 311.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A massive police investigation into a suspected illegal “shadow bank” based at
the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange resulted in the arrest of 16 suspects on
The suspects illegally handled around a billion shekels while
carrying out a range of undeclared banking activities, police said.
Hackers post 1000s of Israeli credit card numbers
suspects, some of whom are traders at the Diamond Exchange, were arrested at
their homes and businesses by dozens of police and Tax Authority officials,
following a year-long undercover investigation.
systematically laundered large sums of money... converted foreign currency and
gave illegal loans,” police said. “They made major profits, and used their
offices as an undeclared bank,” police added. They also suspected of
transferring funds abroad and cashing checks.
A new police unit called
the Task Force Against Professional Money Laundering played a major part in
gaining access to the Diamond Exchange during the undercover
A senior law enforcement source described the Diamond
Exchange as a “fortified” site due its stringent security arrangements for
employees and visitors, making it difficult for police to secretly track the
suspects. Undercover agents followed suspects for several months at the trading
center, gathering evidence.
“The suspects’ activities were disguised as
legitimate trading activities,” police said.
The investigation combined
the expertise of several law enforcement bodies, including the police’s Lahav
433 Unit, the Tax Authority and Tel Aviv state prosecutors. Authorities hope to
charge the suspects with money laundering, banking offenses and tax
The suspects will appear before the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s
Court on Monday morning.