Illustrative photo of handcuffs.
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
A senior member of the Beit Shemesh municipal council along with nine other individuals were arrested by the Police Lahav 443 corruption unit on suspicion of illegal property dealings, the police announced on Sunday.
Moshe Montag, a city councilor from the Degel Hatorah Party, was named as the senior councilman who was arrested. He and the other suspects were brought in for questioning by the police units and on Sunday afternoon were brought to the court in Rishon Lezion as part of the ongoing investigation.
The court remanded the extension of Montag by five days. The court also extended by five days the remand of entrepreneur Leibel Waldman, a Satmar community activist and the person behind the Kiryat Joel project in Beit Shemesh, as well as Yitzhak Raber, a close associate of Montag, and Shlomo Eisenstein, a real estate lawyer in Beit Shemesh.
The police said Lahav 433 has been working in coordination with the tax authority in an undercover investigation into suspected bribery offenses and public corruption “for a long period of time.”
“In the last few hours of police operations, 10 suspects have been detained for questioning and another suspect has been detained on suspicion of involvement in bribery, fraud and breach of trust, tax offenses and other offenses,” said the police, adding that “among those detained is a senior official in a local authority.”
The investigation has been conducted by the police in full cooperation with the Jerusalem Income Tax Authority and accompanied by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office focused on public corruption.
The suspects’ houses and offices were searched by police units.
According to news outlet Ynet, suspected crimes include the use of public land for a residential building, instead of its intended use as a religious educational facility.
Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul said: “From my acquaintance with some of the detainees, I am sure that they are innocent.”
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