(photo credit: INIMAGE)
Police on Monday detained 18 Education Ministry officials, including senior administrators, over suspicions of corruption and fraud in grading exams, totaling more than NIS 20 million.
The officials are suspected of inflating the number of hours they spent grading both oral and written exams, receiving additional payment from an external company that is financed by the Education Ministry.
Police launched a covert investigation in January after receiving a complaint by the ministry, which had conducted an internal review that raised suspicions of serious irregularities in the markup of final exams by the suspects.
In the course of the investigation, suspicions of theft, fraud, forgery and false registration of corporate documents arose, the police said.
Additionally, the investigation uncovered suspicions that several suspects allegedly registered family members as test examiners, even though they were not trained or authorized for the job, and then fraudulently billed the external company hundreds of thousands of shekels.
The police said in a statement that it “views with severity the violation of integrity, and will continue to act to expose and investigate improper processes taking place that exploit public positions in government offices with the aim of extracting funds from the State and at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer unlawfully.”
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