Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger / Flash 90
Lahav 443 Police Investigation Building

Israel’s police on Monday morning carried out raids at several locations in the country and arrested 10 officials suspected of corruption, including a mayor, government office directors and former public officials. The names of which towns were involved have not been released.

The police stated that as part of its battle against public corruption offenses, the Lahav 433 Unit moved its investigation into the corruption case to the open phase, following a prolonged period of an undercover investigation.

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The police said that 10 suspects were arrested, and another nine were detained for questioning on suspicion of involvement in bribery, money laundering, income tax offenses and other offenses. Among those involved are two “senior public figures in local government,” the police noted.

Officers conducted dozens of searches as well as “extensive economic enforcement activities.”

The “complex and wide-ranging investigation” is being conducted by the police in cooperation with the Tax Authority and accompanied by the Central District Attorney’s Office

Senior civil servants and others are suspected of allegedly committing corruption offenses involving influential individuals in government companies and government institutions.

The police’s initial findings indicate that individuals with specific interests have worked to advance their business affairs while committing crimes and influencing decision-makers in government companies to advance their affairs.

It is also suspected that senior officials in local authorities and government offices were also allegedly involved in promoting the interests of the suspects in exchange for bribes or other improper gains.

The Israeli police “will continue to investigate and reveal offenses relating to integrity that harm the normative citizens, the state, its coffers and the public’s trust in its institutions and elected officials,” it stated.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.