3 El Al ex-employees suspected of stealing from airline
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3 El Al ex-employees suspected of stealing from airline

2-year police investigation finds representatives in Romania and Poland used a variety of methods to take millions from company

Illustrative image of an El Al plane at Tel Aviv's  Ben Gurion Airport on August 17, 2016. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Illustrative image of an El Al plane at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport on August 17, 2016. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Three former El Al employees were accused of a range of financial crimes, including fraud, money laundering and tax offenses, police said in a statement Wednesday.

Police, in conjunction with the Tax Authority, recommended charging the three, who worked as El Al representatives in Romania and Poland between 2008 and 2013, following a two-year, large-scale, global investigation.

Two of the suspects, both in their sixties, were arrested and released over two years ago following an undercover investigation after complaints from the company.

The three are suspected of fraudulently taking millions of shekels from the airline, Israel’s national carrier, using a variety of methods over the years. They allegedly transferred money from company accounts to foreign bank accounts, withdrew funds from El Al for private purposes using fake invoices for reimbursement of general expenses, and withdrew cash from the bank account and office safe.

In a statement El Al said it was glad that the investigation, which it had initiated, had reached its conclusion.

“This was an incident discovered by a visitor to El Al in 2014. El Al turned to the Israel Police and law enforcement agencies in Eastern Europe in order to fully investigate the situation and bring the culprits to justice,” the airline said. However, it stressed, “these are not significant amounts for the country.”

The case will be transferred in the coming days to the State Prosecutor’s Office for review and a decision about whether to indict the three.

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