It has been revealed that over the past year, while the previous, legendary mayor of Ramat Gan Zvi Bar has been standing trial in the Tel Aviv District Court on charges of accepting bribes from Ramat Gan businesspeople, the police have been investigating suspicions of bribery at the top of the new Ramat Gan municipal government, headed by Yisrael Zinger, who has been detained for questioning.
Zinger is suspected of offenses under the Money Laundering Law, Election Finance Law, fraud and breach of trust. The Rishon Le-Zion Magistrates Court ordered that Zinger should be placed under house arrest for seven days, and that he should deposit bail of NIS 50,000.
Another suspect in the affair is Nimrod Nir, son of Judy Nir Mozes Shalom, who is married to Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Silvan Shalom and a media personality in her own right.
The Lahav 433 unit is carrying out an investigation together with the Yahalom unit and the VAT investigations department at the Tax Authority into suspicions of bribery, election bribery, fraud and breach of trust, money laundering, and tax offenses, by senior people in the Ramat Gan municipality and others.
It is suspected that those in the municipality promised jobs there and contracts on its behalf to various elements in exchange for help in promoting the election of one of the mayoral candidates in the municipal elections held in October 2013.
This morning, at the end of a prolonged and complex covert investigation, the Lahav 433 unit detained for questioning more than twenty suspects, some of them senior municipal officials, and carried out searches at the offices of the municipality and at the homes and offices of the suspects.
A police spokesperson said that the Attorney General and the Commissioner of the Israel Police had been informed of the details of the investigation, and that it was conducted under the close supervision of the head of Lahav 433 and the head of the Investigations and Intelligence Division.
Some of the allegations against the senior officials began to be investigated after complaints lodged by former member of Knesset Carmel Shama Hacohen, who lost the mayoral election to Zinger, and has since claimed that there were irregularities in the election and corruption at the highest level of the municipality.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 15, 2014
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