Senior Transportation Ministry official arrested on suspicion of taking bribes

Reports of illicit gifts received relating to bus firm; suspect taken for questioning under caution alongside 4 others suspected of involvement in bribery, fraud, breach of trust

Illustrative: A policeman holds handcuffs. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Illustrative: A policeman holds handcuffs. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

A senior government official was arrested Wednesday morning alongside four others on suspicion of bribery and fraud, police said.

The high-ranking employee of the Transportation Ministry is suspected of illegally receiving benefits and gifts from officials connected to an unspecified major bus company, in exchange for promoting its interests and favoring it in government tenders for operating transportation routes, Hebrew-language media reported.

The official was taken for questioning under caution, as were four other suspects who are suspected of dispensing the bribes, reportedly members of a family with ties to the bus company. Two further individuals were detained for questioning, according to a statement by police.

All are suspected of involvement in offenses including bribery, receiving an illicit gift, fraud and breach of trust.

The suspects’ homes and offices were raided and searched, the statement said, adding that they would be brought before the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court if investigation needs dictate such a step.

The investigation at the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit began as a covert investigation and became public as the arrests were made.

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