Police: 'Vast sums of public money' at center of massive graft case against Netivei Israel

Suspects include a former MK.

Israel Police logo (photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel Police logo
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Police on Monday arrested and detained for questioning over 20 people - including senior officials from a major government owned company and a former MK - accused of bribery, money laundering, and fraud.
The allegations against the current and former officials from Netivei Israel – National Transport Infrastructure Company LTD,  revolve around a sophisticated, methodical system they set up for funneling money to their own pockets through shifting vast amounts of public money to cronies and associates, police said Monday.
The suspects – who cannot yet be named – include a number who are involved in Case 242 - “The Yisrael Beitenu case”. Though the two cases are not connected – according to police – the current investigation against Netivei Israel involves a very similar method to that used by the suspects in the 242 case.
In the current investigation, police suspect that executives took bribes in order to award government tenders to associates and outside contractors, tenders which involved vast sums of public money in the tens of millions of shekels, police said Monday.
A number of the suspects are currently no longer with the company, but police said they suspect that they used their connections with current executives to continue to influence its operations and reward contracts and other favors to associates.
The case does not include any suspected wrongdoing with the construction of the Tel Aviv Light Rail, which is the responsibility of NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd., a separate corporation from Netivei Israel.
The allegations came to light as part of a months-long undercover investigation, police said. Police expect to bring several of the suspects detained in the raids Monday morning to remand extensions this afternoon.