Less than a week after investigative journalist Rafi Ginat's Kolbotek program claimed to reveal shocking sanitation violations at the 'Tiv Ta'am' factory, police announced Sunday evening that they had arrested two private investigators under suspicion that they tried to blackmail the troubled company's owners.
The investigation was initiated following a complaint issued by one of the partners leading 'Tiv Ta'am', and found evidence indicating that one day after Ginat's broadcast, one of the PI's had turned to the company's owners in a blackmail attempt. Police believe that the PI demanded that the partners pay him NIS 100,000 in order to prevent him from passing on additional damning information about the factory to Ginat's investigative team.
Following the complaint, the International and Serious Crimes Unit carried out a brief undercover probe in which the complainant was instructed to cooperate with the blackmailers' demands. The complainant staged a "negotiation" with the alleged blackmailer, and the two decided upon an initial payment of NIS 50,000. At that point, the detectives, who had set up the exchange as an ambush, arrested the suspect, a 32-year-old resident of Elyachin.
The PI's partner, a 60-year-old Hadera resident was also detained for investigation and the two were being questioned Sunday evening.