More than 20 Israelis, including defense industries veterans, were interrogated by the Shin Bet and the Israel Police as part of an investigation into the illegal trade in missiles for Asia’s country.
A gag order has been placed on some details of the investigation, including the identity of the suspects and the name of the country that ordered the weapons.
The group members alleged engaged in developing, producing, and selling armed missiles for the Asian country. Among other things, experimental documentation for those missiles was published.
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According to a statement by the Shin Bet released on Thursday, the suspects received instructions for action from entities related to that foreign country and in exchange for receiving large-scale funds and additional benefits.
The Shin Bet said that the investigation revealed that the contact between the group members in suspect and the foreign country was made under cover, trying to hide the identity of the receiver of the missiles.
The investigation uncovered secretive information regarding the way the foreign country worked with Israelis — including the use of hiding technics that will blur the traces leading to the deals and the transfer of money.
“This investigation revealed a great deal of information about the methods of action of those foreign bodies vis-à-vis Israelis, including the use of concealment and secrecy techniques in carrying out the transactions and transferring the proceeds to them,” the statement reads.
The Shin Bet added: “This case illustrates the potential damage to the security of the country that lies within illegal deals that are conducted by Israeli citizens with foreign entities. It also raises fears that technologies will get to the hand of enemy countries,” it added.
Some suspects have served in significant positions in the IDF, and have worked in large defense industries.
The GSS added that “the affair illustrates the potential damage to national security inherent in transactions carried out by Israeli citizens including the fear that this technology may spill over into countries hostile to Israel.”
“They were investigated under the Defense Export Control Law, money laundering offenses, and other economic offenses. “
The investigation material has recently been submitted for examination to the Economics Department of the State Attorney’s Office.
It has yet to be determined if all the suspects will be prosecuted for the offenses. It is also unclear if the group was successful in providing a fully developed product to the unnamed country.
According to Israeli law, any person, company or corporation interested in exporting security equipment, security knowledge or security service must obtain a certificate of registration in the Defense Export Registry, for which the Defense Export Control Division is responsible. The registration in the Exporters Registry is a precondition for carrying out marketing activities and obtaining marketing and export licenses according to the law.