Israel arrests gang that defrauded state of hundreds of millions

“It’s a financial terror attack,” a senior police investigator said of the fraud case. 

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Israel’s police arrested an international crime ring that defrauded the state and stole almost NIS 1 billion ($285 M).

The police announced Wednesday that it has arrested 29 members of the crime ring, including three members in Spain and a senior bank official in Israel.

Another six individuals were detained for questioning.

The investigation into the serious fraud attempt lasted a year, the police said, and involved several branches of Israel’s tax authority and state prosecution.

The crimes involved money laundering, the distribution of fake receipts and tax evasion.

The fraud attempt caused severe damage to the state treasury, estimated at hundreds of millions of shekels, the police said.

Twenty of the suspects were brought before a court and were remanded on Wednesday. Other will face a judge on Thursday.

“Israel’s police will continue to investigate and expose illegal processes of severe financial crime which hinder Israel’s economy and harm its citizens,” the police stated.

One of the leading police investigators told IDF Radio that the suspects operated in a sophisticated way. “The damage to the public treasury stands at about NIS 700 million. It’s a financial terror attack,” he stated.