The National Fraud Investigations Unit on Sunday arrested Elad Mayor Yitzhak Idan on suspicion of bribery, fraud and money laundering charges, following an undercover operation against the municipality that lasted for several months.

The fraud unit said its officers, along with officials from the Tax Authority, carried out searches at the Elad City Hall and the homes and offices of Idan, who is also a rabbi, and four other suspects they believe were involved in a series of fraud, bribery and money laundering offenses.

The mayor is also suspected of violating building code regulations.

Idan’s arrest came only four days after Yahud Mayor Yossi Ben-David was arrested on suspicion of taking bribes, fraud, breach of trust and money laundering. Ben-David is suspected of accepting money from a real estate developer in exchange for approving building projects he was working on.

Ben-David and Idan join a number of mayors arrested in recent months by police on bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges, including Bat Yam Mayor Shlomi Lahiani, Ramat Hasharon Mayor Yitzhak Rochberger and Upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso among others.

On Sunday, the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court extended Idan’s remand by two days. Police had requested four, but the presiding judge approved a two-day remand, saying that there is reason to believe that Idan would try to intervene with the investigation if released from custody now.

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