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Senior defense ministry official suspected of stealing tens of millions

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A senior official within the Defense Ministry was arrested and questioned Monday morning on suspicion that he coordinated with contractors to fraudulently spend millions in public funds on inflated tasks or work that was by no means accomplished.

Police stated in a assertion that the suspect, who was not recognized, was questioned beneath warning.

Three others had been additionally detained in mild of proof that they had been additionally concerned in crimes of bribery, fraud, breach of belief, and different offenses, police stated.

The investigation, carried out by the Lahav 433 nationwide crime squad’s financial crime unit, uncovered obvious cooperation between the senior ministry official and the contractors, the assertion stated. The suspects are believed to have acquired tens of millions of shekels in military cash over a number of years by demanding funds for work that wasn’t carried out or was solely partly accomplished.

Police additional suspect that the senior official reported an inflated scope of work for some tasks to extend the income for contractors whereas additionally concealing from the ministry the precise work accomplished.

Police stated the investigation got here as half of a deal with enforcement towards offenses regarding the use of public funds.

In December police arrested 20 folks, together with senior IDF officers, Defense Ministry officers, and staff from two expertise companies, on suspicion that they stole greater than NIS 100 million ($28 million) from the Defense Ministry.

The suspects are believed to have run a fraud scheme that charged the Defense Ministry for costly army telecommunications work that investigators say was by no means carried out, or that was carried out solely partially.

It was not instantly clear if the 2 instances had been associated.

In October 2017, police detained greater than a dozen folks, together with six profession troopers, suspected of participating in one other IDF-linked fraud. The civilian suspects had been staff of a firm that gives upkeep providers to military bases. They are believed to have embezzled “huge sums” by charging the military for work they by no means truly accomplished, police stated.

In that case, the IDF personnel — a lieutenant colonel, 4 majors and a senior non-commissioned officer — are suspected of trying the opposite approach in alternate for bribes.

The incidents come alongside what is called “Case 3000,” a main corruption scandal by which authorities are investigating alleged corruption and bribery concerned in multi-billion-shekel naval offers with the German shipbuilding firm ThyssenKrupp.

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