El Al fired three employees from its security division in Toronto after an internal audit discovered embezzlement and financial mismanagement lasting over three years, the airline suspects.

The dismissals took place about two months ago but the airline kept a lid on the story.

Each El Al branch worldwide has its own security unit. Workers at other security units say management tends to be lax about supervising their financial issues. "[Security] workers can often do as they please with the unit's budget. This time, in Toronto, it didn't work out for them," one said.

One of the three dismissed workers is the deputy to the security chief; the deputy was in charge of the division's finances.

The offenses include inflating salaries by unkosher means including illegitimate overtime claims and travel charges that ultimately cost the Israeli airline around $600,000. El Al spends about $100 million a year on security, half of which is paid by the Israeli taxpayer. The airline said management views the inefficiency at its Toronto security unit gravely and is taking steps.