Elected local official among 7 arrested on suspicion of bribery

Police says suspects from unnamed council advanced tenders in return for cash and other benefits; 4 others detained for questioning

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

General view of the Lahav 433 police unit headquarters in the city of Lod, on November 4, 2019. (Flash90)
General view of the Lahav 433 police unit headquarters in the city of Lod, on November 4, 2019. (Flash90)

An elected official from a local authority was among seven arrested Monday morning on suspicion of corruption involving bribes and the illegal advancement of tenders under their responsibility, Israel Police said in a statement.

Four others were also detained for questioning.

“At this time, the suspects are being questioned by the police and, as required, they will be brought to court for a hearing on the request to extend their detention,” police said.

The suspects’ home and offices were searched as part of the arrest operation and items were seized.

Those arrested are suspected of offenses including offering and receiving bribes, receiving items fraudulently, breach of trust, money laundering, election offenses, tax offenses and offenses under the Planning and Building Act.

Police did not say which local authority was involved.

Investigators believe the suspects advanced tenders in the authority on behalf of others in return for cash and other benefits.

Their alleged actions “harmed the public interest,” police said in the statement which made public an undercover operation that the force said had been going on for a while.

The investigation is being carried out by the Lahav 433 national crime unit together with tax and land administration authorities, police said.

On Sunday police wrapped up an investigation of Michael Melamed, the deputy mayor of Rosh Ha’ayin. Police say Melamed unlawfully promoted the interests of business people in the city in return for cash bribes and benefits. The case was handed over to state prosecutors.

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