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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘fraud’

Israeli Arab MK Basel Ghattas Indicted on Abuse of Diplomatic Immunity, Use of Property for Terror

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Balad Party Knesset Member Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List faction) has been indicted on charges of fraud, breach of trust, use of property for terrorism, bringing in documents without clearance through prison administration, and abuse of his diplomatic credentials.

The indictment comes in response to the lawmaker’s ties to a terrorist at the Ketziot Prison who is serving a life sentence for the murder of an IDF soldier. It also underlines the lawmaker’s ties with a second terrorist in the prison, this one a member of the ruling Fatah faction in the Palestinian Authority.

The indictment said the Knesset member conspired with the two terrorist prisoners, and with the brother of one of them, to bring cell phones into the prison and to deliver them to one of the terrorists who then would distribute them to other security prisoners.

The package that he delivered on the day of his visit to the prison contained 12 cell phones, 16 SIM cards, two chargers and an ear piece. He also delivered documents — coded messages — as well on the same day.

Prison guards searched the two inmates after they received the equipment and the papers, and seized both packages of contraband which later was handed over to the Lahav 433 Fraud and Serious Crimes Unit of Israel Police. Investigators confronted Ghattas with the security video footage of the incident, and with the items that were confiscated, after he denied any connection with wrongdoing during initial questioning.

Although the Knesset member has been indicted, and may be returned to house arrest, for the time being Ghattas is still getting paid, and is able to vote on laws being considered in the Knesset plenum.

Hana Levi Julian

16 Senior Yisrael Beiteinu Officials to Be Indicted on Corruption Charges

Monday, September 26th, 2016

AG Avihai Mandelblit and State Attorney Shai Nitzan on Monday decided there was sufficient evidence to indict Former Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, former Deputy Minister Faina Kirshenbaum, and fourteen additional senior members of public institutions pending a hearing, Walla reported. According to a State Prosecution announcement, Misezhnikov and Kirshenbaum are likely to face corruption charges.

The initial charges were revealed in the 2013 State Auditor report on Misezhnikov’s conduct regarding various bids estimated at millions of dollars under his authority, which he was accused of steering towards people in his close circle. The investigation revealed that Misezhnikov approved million dollar budgets for projects on condition that they would employ his confidant Julia Root, at the time he was serving as Tourism Minister. The Auditor’s report also accused Misezhnikov’s chief of staff at the ministry, Limor Barzilai, of knowingly interfering with the investigation.

The State Attorney’s Office Economic Department told the legal representative of 16 suspects on Monday that their idictment is being considered pending a hearing. Misezhnikov is suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, possession and use of a dangerous drug, and obstruction of justice. Deputy Minister of the Interior and the Secretary General of the Israel Beiteinu party Kirshenbaum is suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, money laundering, and tax evasions.

Among the additional suspects is Director of the Organization Department of the Israel Beiteinu party David Godovsky, former Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture Rami Cohen and his wife Batya Cohen, Tamar Regional Council Head Dov Litvinoff, Ayalim Association Chairman Matan Dahan, and his deputy Danny Glicksberg.

This represents the culmination of the two-year long “Case 242” that was conducted by the Investigations and Intelligence Division Lahav 433 of the National Fraud Unit, which involved the investigation of 480 individuals, the seizing of tens of thousands of documents, arrests, and more than 900 statements. So far police have also seized property in an estimated value of $6.65 million. Police have so far recruited seven state witnesses, including Gershon Mesika, who resigned his post as head of the Shomron Regional Council.

JNi.Media

13 More Balad Activists Arrested in Fraud Crackdown

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Police continued the crackdown on the Israeli-Arab Knesset party Balad Wednesday, arresting 13 additional suspects on suspicion of fraud. The arrests bring the number of Balad activists, lawyers and accountants arrested since Sunday to 36. No Balad Knesset members have been arrested.

The police suspect that the new detainees, all party activists, have been involved in a money laundering ring to defraud the Israeli government by misrepresenting the origin of millions of shekels (at least hundreds of thousands of US dollars). Balad reported the money to have been donated from hundreds of donors in Israel, but police suspect the funds were in fact received from other sources, both in Israel and abroad. Police have not provided further details.

Balad Party members allegedly committed a series of financial offenses, including money laundering, false reporting, forgery, receiving an object by deception under aggravated circumstances and numerous violations of the Political Parties Financing Law.

Balad is part of the Joint List faction in the Israeli parliament, a conglomeration of three Arab-majority parties, and describes itself as a “national party for the Palestinian citizens of Israel.” The party is more (Arab) nationalistic than the dovish and socialist Hadash party and the Islamic religious United Arab List. Balad MK Hanin Zoabi participated in the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza, and more recently called IDF soldiers “murderers” in the Knesset plenum.

In February, Zoabi and fellow Balad MKs Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas were suspended from all Knesset deliberations for four months for meeting with and honoring families of Palestinian terrorists.

The latest detainees are expected to be brought before courts in northern and central Israel to extend their remand. In addition, six of the 23 suspects arrested on Sunday will appear in court Wednesday and are expected to have their remands extended. The 17 remaining suspects will appear on Thursday.

The investigation was initiated several years ago following a report by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira and approved by the previous Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, in keeping with the state attorney’s recommendation. The covert investigation was closely monitored by the state attorney’s office.

Balad officials denounced the crackdown Sunday as “political persecution.”

“This is a dangerous escalation and another stage in the campaign of political persecution against the Arab minority and its political movements,” said the party in a statement. “The real purpose is to silence Balad and harm its role as spearhead in the struggle against oppression and discrimination. Like in the past, this attempt will fail and the mountain will turn out to be a mouse.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Officials Outraged Over Humanitarian Aid Transferred to Hamas

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Israeli officials were outraged after learning that an employee of the Christian humanitarian aid organization World Vision was indicted for funneling money and resources to the terrorist organization Hamas.

“Israel has today confirmed what it has known for a long time, which is that Hamas is sustained with funds from ‘human rights organizations,’” said Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud). “Instead of improving the situation in the Gaza Strip and rehabilitating it, Hamas uses the money intended for children and the needy instead for the benefit of manufacturing rockets and tunnels.”

The southern district of the State Attorney’s Office filed an indictment on Wednesday against Mohammed El-Halabi, World Vision’s senior branch manager in Gaza. El-Halabi was arrested at the Erez crossing on June 15 as he was attempting to return to Gaza.

The indictment against El-Halabi charges him with committing a number of offenses related to direct and indirect support of and involvement in terrorism on behalf of the Hamas terror organization.

El-Halabi, who confessed under questioning to having been an active Hamas member since his youth, said that Hamas chose to dispatch him in 2005 to infiltrate World Vision in light of his prior work for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Gaza. While employed with UNDP, El-Halabi helped collect intelligence for Hamas by stationing “farmers” near the border with Israel who were actually operating as lookouts for the terror organization.

El-Halabi worked his way up the hierarchical ladder in the Gaza branch of World Vision until he eventually became its director, allowing him to have full control over the branch’s budget and aid packages.

The indictment states that after becoming director, El-Halabi helped transfer money and logistical supplies to Hamas through a number of fraudulent schemes, including fictitious humanitarian projects, false registration of Hamas activists as World Vision employees, and the reporting of fraudulent budget figures. Supplies included iron rods, pipes, and building materials, which were used for the construction of Hamas military outposts and terror tunnels.

El-Halabi admitted that the humanitarian aid was received almost exclusively by Hamas terrorists and their families. El-Halabi distributed thousands of food packages and medical supplies to Hamas terrorists every month, including during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

Additionally, El-Halabi confirmed that the money which was transferred to Hamas was primarily intended to strengthen the terror organization’s military capacity through the purchase of weapons and the financing of the construction of Hamas’s underground terror tunnel network.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hotovely stressed that the activities of human rights organizations operating in Gaza must be monitored.

“It is important to tighten the investigations into contributions to human rights organizations and to be especially concerned that money is used for the purposes for which it was donated,” added Deputy Minister Hotovely.

Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Avi Dichter expressed the need to be aware of how other international aid organizations are distributing their donations as well.

“Reasonable international bodies operating in Gaza are used as sources of money for the financing of Hamas terrorism in Gaza, and the difference with World Vision is just that the other bodies have not yet been exposed as such,” said Dichter.

“The naivete that characterizes the humanitarian organizations with good intentions is what enables Hamas terrorists to endorse the support for terrorist infrastructure,” the committee chairman added.

World Vision adamantly denied the allegations against El-Halabi in the indictment and claimed that the organization continuously made certain that all its humanitarian aid was not misappropriated.

“Based on the information available to us at this time, we have no reason to believe that the allegations are true,” World Vision said in a statement. “We will carefully review any evidence presented to us and will take appropriate actions based on that evidence.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Former Netanyahu Chief of Staff Ari Harrow Interrogated A Second Time

Monday, July 18th, 2016

The former chief of staff for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned a second time under caution on Monday.

Ari Harrow was taken for questioning last week upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport, although he was told he was not being arrested.

After 14 hours of interrogation “under caution” — implying he was indeed a suspect in the unspecified investigation — he was released to five days of house arrest.

The interrogation was carried out in connection with a probe into allegations of fraud in an initial investigation into the activities of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family, as well as other government figures.

A spokesperson for Israel Police said the National Fraud Investigation Unit last week asked Harrow to provide testimony about Netanyahu’s alleged financial misappropriations.

Earlier last week Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit ordered an initial probe into the prime minister’s actions as part of the wider investigation of financial activity by government officials.

Harrow served as chief of staff to Netanyahu in 2014.

Hana Levi Julian

PMW Reports PA’s ‘Billion Dollar Fraud’

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

A special report by Palestinian Media Watch reveals a major fraud by the Palestinian Authority, through which it is reaping more than a billion dollars in foreign aid annually.

In 2014, the PA announced that in order to continue receiving more than a billion dollars in financial support annually, it was acceding to US and European donor countries’ demands that the PA stop paying salaries to terrorist prisoners. The PA claimed the money for prisoners’ salaries would no longer be paid by the PA but instead by the PLO.

Even though PMW warned at the time that this was nothing more than a ploy, the US and the EU countries accepted the PA’s assurances, and continue to pay the PA more than a billion dollars in financial aid every year.

The PMW special report cites numerous official PA sources and statements by officials, showing that the PA is violating the trust of the US and the EU. According to all these sources, the PA Ministry of Finance continues to make the decisions and remains the source of the money for paying salaries to terrorist prisoners.

In addition, records of the PA Ministry of Finance show money transfers the PA made to the PLO in the years 2012 – 2015. These transfers show a noteworthy money trail used to transfer money that is used for terrorist salaries from the PA to the PLO. In 2015, after the PA had assured Western donors it was no longer paying the salaries, and after it had closed the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, it suddenly transferred more than double what it had transferred to the PLO in previous years. The additional amount transferred by the PA to the PLO in 2015 was almost identical to the budget the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs used to have. This extra money the PLO received from the PA in 2015 matches the amount the PLO now needed to pay the salaries of terrorist prisoners.

The payments may be made by the PLO, but the money is still PA money.

Since it continues to fund salaries to terrorists, thereby clearly violating its promise to donors, the PA should be ineligible to receive Western donor money. However, through this deception the PA is still reaping over a billion dollars in foreign aid.

Click here to view the full report in PDF
JNi.Media

Mass Arrests of FIFA Officials Omit PA Terrorist Rajoub

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

A lawfare organization has called on FIFA to expel Palestinian Authority soccer director Jabril Rajoub from the soccer organization because of incitement for terror. He doubles as Deputy Secretary of the Central Committee of Fatah, whose Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terrorists have murdered hundreds of Israelis, including the 11 Olympic athletes executed at the Munich Games in 1972.

Expelling Rajoub from FIFA would be just desserts in response to his campaign to expel Israel from the soccer organization because of the “occupation.”

He plans to urge the annual FIFA Congress meeting in Switzerland this week to pass a resolution to suspend Israel, but he was kicked with a big surprise early late Tuesday night that might distract the membership.

Hours after the call by Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) president Nitsana Darshan-Leitner to expel him, Swiss authorities began a roundup of FIFA officials to be extradited to the United States

Law enforcement agents in Switzerland swooped down on FIFA’a annual meeting at a luxury hotel Tuesday and arrested FIFA officials on U.S. charges of money laundering, racketeering and fraud.

FIFA director Sepp Blatter is not among those to be indicted. The gathering in Switzerland is expected to elect him Friday to a fifth term to head one of the richest and most powerful sports organizations in the world.

It apparently is also one of the most corrupt, which brings to mind the Palestinian Authority and Rajoub, a convicted terrorist who used his skills to head Yasser Arafat’s security forces. He has retained his penchant for terror by repeatedly inciting others to attack Israelis.

Last year, he expressed his wish for a nuclear weapon so he could drop it on Israel.

Darshan-Leitner wrote:

To say that such violent, hateful, discriminatory conduct is beneath the high ideals of FIFA for peace, sportsmanship and collegiality is to massively understate the obvious.

Rajoub, personally, and in combination with others on the Central Committee of Fatah, actively supports and renders aid to AAMB [Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade] and engages in public conduct designed to foster discrimination and terrorist violence against Jews and Israelis, in violation of the FIFA principles and of the FIFA disciplinary code.

Rajoub has no place in FIFA because he has cynically and brazenly flouted FIFA’s standards for conduct in Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes.

The FIFA regulations allow expulsion and a fine up to $20,000 for inciting hatred and violence through the media.

She noted that Rajoub has stated:

Fatah has decided that our relations with the Israelis are relations between enemies…am I stopping you from slaughtering a settlement? No one is stopping anyone.

And:

Until now we have not had nuclear weapons. but in the name of Allah, if we had nuclear weapons, we’d be using them.”

By all rights, Rajoub should be in prison, where in 1970 he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life for a terrorist attack on the IDF near Hebron.

Thank to the generosity of Israeli prison officials, Rajoub used his time in jail to study up on Zionism, polish up his Hebrew and lead hunger strikes and protests until he was freed in 1985 along with more than 1,100 other terrorists in exchange for three Israeli hostages held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Israel arrested him again for returning to terror, but, of course, released him again, arrested him again for more terror, and freed Rajoub again.

He now hides safely behind his position as head of the Palestinian Authority Soccer affiliate of FIFA, the organization that has several officials under arrest for fraud, but not for inciting terror.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/mass-arrests-of-fifa-officials-omits-pa-terrorist-rajoub/2015/05/27/

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