(photo credit: Channel 10 )
Police suspect that Bat Yam Mayor Shlomo Lahiani exploited his position to cover up millions of shekels in personal debt, Army Radio reported Tuesday morning.
According to police suspicions, Lahiani nullified a personal loan that he had taken out from the Union Bank, by promising that he would transfer municipal employees' accounts to them from other banks.
Police arrested Lahiani early Monday on suspicion of major fraud, alleging he had exploited his position to promote his personal interests and those of his family.
Fifteen additional suspects were taken into custody during the raids, including the mayor's brother, Avi Lahiani.
On Monday evening, the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court extended Lahiani's custody by a day, though police had asked to extend his custody by four days.
Avi Lahiani is suspected of exploiting his brother's position for personal gain. His custody was extended by five days on Monday.
A third suspect named was Gil Harel, the owner of a currency exchange business that police and tax officials suspect was used by Lahiani to illegally deposit funds.
Lahiani is also suspected of paying a traffic ticket using city funds.