IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi
IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi speaking at an event for wounded soldiers in June, 2010 Photo by Ofer Vaknin
Text size

Two Ashkelon builders and five IDF career officers were arrested Monday on suspicion of being involved in a bribery scam encompassing hundreds of thousands of shekels.

Shimon Ksantini, owner of Ksantini and Sons Infrastructure and Development company and his foreman Shimon Levinsky were brought to the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court for the extension of their remand Monday.

Ksantini is suspected of bribing commanders and other military personnel in an air force base in the south, where he was carrying out construction work, in order to receive projects and equipment. Ksantini allegedly bribed base personnel who were responsible for ordering concrete, sand and other material for work on IDF bases. In exchange, they would transfer the materials to other sites Ksantini was working on.

Levinsky is suspected of being Ksantini's contact man with the army personnel. Police believe the two civilian suspects bribed the career officers with hundreds of thousands of shekels. About a year ago the Military Police started investigating a tip that certain air force personnel in the south were involved in illegal acts with contractors working on their base. Six months ago the Military Police passed material to the police, which started wiretapping and surveillance on the suspects.