Dozens of people in the Defense Ministry were arrested on Monday morning on suspicion of corruption at the end of a year-long undercover investigation conducted by the Israel Police’s Lahav 433 unit and the Director of Security of the Defense Establishment, according to an Israel Police spokesperson.
The investigation was opened after the Director of Security of the Defense Establishment raised suspicions of corruption, and it revealed a cartel of corruption and bribery in which contractors and officials in the Defense Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Department were involved.
One of the suspects in the case was found to have business relations with a head of an Israeli crime organization.
Among those arrested were contractors, a lawyer, company owners, employees and officials in the Defense Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Department. The suspects are accused of taking and giving bribes, fraud, breach of trust, receiving things fraudulently under aggravating circumstances, connections to crime, false registration in corporate documents, money laundering and tax crimes.
As well as the arrests, the police took control of bank accounts and real estate and confiscated cash in multiple currencies, fancy cars and expensive jewelry.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that it sees the suspicions severely and is cooperating and assisting with the investigation and will work to bring the perpetrators to justice.