IDF officers arrested over alleged massive defrauding of Defense Ministry
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IDF officers arrested over alleged massive defrauding of Defense Ministry

More 20 suspects nabbed after lengthy undercover probe into NIS 100 million swindle; others held include employees of telecom companies

The Defense Ministry buildling in Tel Aviv, August 29, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
The Defense Ministry buildling in Tel Aviv, August 29, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

In a massive sweep Tuesday, police arrested 20 people, including senior IDF officers, Defense Ministry officials, and employees from two technology firms, on suspicion of stealing more than NIS 100 million ($28 million) from the Defense Ministry.

The suspects are believed to have run a fraud scheme that charged the Defense Ministry for expensive military telecommunications work that investigators say was never carried out, or that was carried out only in part.

The two companies whose employees were allegedly linked to the scam are Giltech and Uricom, both specializing in telecom networks.

The arrests came after a lengthy undercover investigation by the Israel Police’s major crimes unit.

Few details were made public on Tuesday. The identities and ranks of those arrested, as well as specific information on the alleged scam, were not disclosed.

In October, police detained more than a dozen people, including six career soldiers, suspected of taking part in another IDF-linked fraud. The civilian suspects were employees of a company that provides maintenance services to army bases. They are believed to have embezzled “huge sums” by charging the army for work they never actually completed, police said.

In that case, the IDF personnel — the lieutenant colonel, four majors and a senior non-commissioned officer — are suspected of looking the other way in exchange for bribes.

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