Son of Well-Known Public Figure Arrested In IAI Corruption Investigation

The son of a well-known public figure was arrested Wednesday morning along with another suspect as part of the police investigation into suspicions of corruption, fraud and breach of trust at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The son has been a member of the IAI workers’ union over the past four years.

Along with the two arrested, 10 additional suspects were held for questioning.

Police also searched the homes of the suspects.

Based on the findings of the questioning and searches, some of suspects will be brought in front of a judge later in the day for a remand extension.

The corruption investigation focused on suppliers providing bribes and kickbacks to company officials in order to win various tenders.

So far, 16 suspects have been arrested, including several senior board members and a bank manager.

Among those arrested is former senior IDF officer Brig. Gen. (res.) Amal Asad, who is believed to have received bribes from the company DruzNet, which allegedly transferred funds to him through his relatives so he would help them keep their IAI contract.

Another suspect is Eli Cohen, a senior member of the IAI workers’ union, who is suspected of receiving and giving benefits to senior officials in the government company its suppliers.

In one glaring example, an as-of-yet unidentified northern Israel company allegedly provided illicit favors in exchange for several IAI contracts.

In direct contravention of regulations, the same company was also given clear preference over others in tenders.

According to information from police, the unnamed contracting company was awarded “rolling” orders, meaning, each time payment for a particular service was concluded, an additional service contract would be provided.

“This is a complex and extensive investigation, which involves a number of different actors being suspected of a variety of offenses including bribery, aggravated fraud, money laundering, theft by a public servant and breach of trust,” police said in a statement.

Police also added that the undercover investigation uncovered “systematic criminal conduct and deep suspected corruption that is apparently the norm in IAI.

“This case includes a large and diverse amount of people involved, including board members, executives, managers, junior staff; all those who were gatekeepers (to IAI), in addition to service providers and consultants for the company.”

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