Tax Authority wants hazard pay over mob

Knesset Interior Committee learns authority not fully cooperating with police.

tax building jerusalem 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
tax building jerusalem 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Tax Authority is not fully cooperating with police in the war against mobsters because of a dispute over hazard pay for workers, the Knesset Interior Committee learned Monday, in a hearing held to evaluate how law enforcement agencies are tackling organized crime. Addressing the committee, Lt.-Cmdr Dudu Matzur, deputy head of Interrogations and Intelligence for the Israel Police, said law enforcement agencies are seeking to pool evidence on the illegal financial activities of organized crime members, but added that the Tax Authority wants its employees to get hazard bonuses for making evidence available to police. In a statement sent to The Jerusalem Post, the Tax Authority confirmed Matzur's comments. "Indeed, the operational activities with the police on the issue of crime is partial at this time," the authority said. "There is a demand by authority employees for a hazard bonus and insurance to work against crime organizations, similar to the insurance Israel Police and security personnel receive." Representatives of Tax Authority employees are negotiating with the Treasury over the extra pay, the statement said. "The Tax Authority views the joint war against organized crime as being very important, and is working to conclude negotiations soon," it added. On the intelligence front, the Tax Authority said, officials are "fully cooperating with police, including [staffing] a joint situation room." During the Knesset session, an incredulous committee chairman, MK Ophir Paz-Pines, asked the police representatives how long the negotiations were going on and offered to intercede with the Treasury to help speed talks along. "The work with the Tax Authority has been limited. This has been going on for a long time," Matzur replied. Matzur outlined the police approach to targeting crime organizations, stressing the work done by the anti-organized crime police unit, Lahav 443, and the local police districts. "Due to the nature of the work, we can't discuss much of this activity. But a lot of work is being done. The police is aiming to damage the infrastructure of crime organizations, and is collecting evidence for trials of criminals." Israel Police Operations Coordinator, Dep.-Cmdr. Michal Yadid, told the committee that in the wake of last's week car bomb assassination of mob kingpin Yaakov Alperon, police are "not waiting for the next incident to happen. There are [both] overt and undercover investigations... the police are not scared of dealing with this phenomenon." Alex Lautinare, whose wife, Marguerita, was killed in a failed mob hit at a Bat Yam beach in July, also attended the session. Marguerita was shot dead in front of her husband and two children. He called on the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to be brought into the struggle against organized crime, and asked the committee to come up with creative solutions to prevent further loss of innocent lives. "After the hit in Tel Aviv, it's a question of who is the next victim. It's only a matter of time. "We need creative solutions that can stop this time bomb," he said.