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Son of Minister arrested in Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) corruption investigation

IAI Photo Avi Mualem

 

Israeli minister’s son reportedly arrested Wednesday morning along with another suspect as part of an ongoing police investigation into corruption suspicions, fraud and breach of trust at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The son of the Likud minister, has been for the past four years, a member of the IAI workers’ labor union.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), one of the country’s largest defense firms and Israel’s largest state-owned company, employs about 16,000 people. The labor union at IAI is also known as a Likud stronghold.

Based on the findings of the questioning and searches, some of suspects expected to appear at an arraignment hearing at Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court later in the day to determine if they will remain in custody.

Corruption Scandal: 13 Suspects Arrested in Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

Along with the two arrested, another 10 people were hauled in for questioning, while police searched their homes, police spokeswoman said.

Last week 13 suspects detained were IAI several senior board members and a bank manager, as well as private companies, along with a former senior Israel Defense Forces officer, who police said was “well known in the defense establishment.”

The investigation was conducted by the police’s Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit, along with investigators from the Tax Authority and the Director of Security of the Defense Establishment, an internal Defense Ministry investigatory unit.

The corruption investigation focused on suppliers providing bribes and kickbacks to company officials in order to win various tenders.

Police said in a statement: “This is a complex and an extensive investigation, with a wide scope, which involves a number of different actors includes a number of sub-scandals, and raises suspicions of corruption, aggravated fraud, money laundering, theft by public officials, illegal business practices, fraud and breach of trust.

“The covert investigation of this affair has thus far shown systemic criminal business practices and the suspicion of deep corruption, which is apparently common in the Israeli Aerospace Industries,” police said.

According to information from police, the unnamed contracting company was awarded “rolling” orders, meaning, each time payment for a particular service was concluded, an additional service contract would be provided, Ynet news reports.

“This case includes a large and diverse amount of people involved, including board members, executives, managers, junior staff; all those who were gatekeepers (to IAI), in addition to service providers and consultants for the company.”

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