Four mayors and the owner of a trash disposal company were arrested Monday on suspicion of bribery, police said.
In all, officers arrested 18 people from the northern Arab towns of Isfiya, Kafr Manda, Reineh and Abu Snan, including more local government officials, on suspicion of bribery, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and tax crimes, police said in a statement.
Police also confiscated cars, a garbage truck, checks, cash, jewelry and documents from the suspects’ homes and offices.
Police suspect that the owner and the mayors colluded to advance their private financial interests, and that the municipal officials assisted in facilitating the relationship.
The owner allegedly bribed the mayors in exchange for a public garbage disposal tender, police said.
The Lahav 433 investigative unit began the undercover probe a year ago, in cooperation with the Taxation and Economics Department of the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office and the Money Laundering Prohibition Authority.