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6 senior Israeli officials detained in fraud case

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 11 February 2017 [Facebok]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 11 February 2017 [Facebook]

Six suspects, including close associates of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have been detained on allegations of bribery, tax evasion, fraud offenses and money laundering according to Haaretz.

Police questioned the six early this morning regarding the potentially fraudulent purchase of naval vessels from Germany. The proposed deal involved German company ThyssenKrupp selling Israel three submarines, worth a total of $1.5 billion.

Among the suspects is Netanyahu’s personal lawyer and cousin, David Shimron, who is accused of influencing the billion-dollar deals in favour of the German shipbuilder which he represented in Israel.

Another is Avriel Bar-Yosef, a former deputy head of the National Security Council, who was accused in 2016 of accepting bribes in exchange for promoting German interests in the development of Israel’s gas fields.

Read: Israel Interior Minister questioned in tax fraud case again

In a joint statement, Israel Police and the Tax Authority said: “At the time of the events under question, some of the suspects were public servants and some worked in the private sector.”

Former defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon, has also threatened “to go public” with information pertaining to Netanyahu’s contact with German officials if what has been dubbed “Case 3000” does not produce an indictment.

Ya’alon stopped the planned purchase of the submarines, despite Shimron advocating for the deal; but after he stepped down in May 2016, Netanyahu renewed the negotiations with Berlin.

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