Senior Ashdod Port Workers Arrested for Corruption

Workers allegedly advanced the interests of private companies owned by their friends and relatives in exchange for bribes.

Jasmin Gueta
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Containers at Ashdod Port. The ports were among the most profitable government companies in 2013.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Jasmin Gueta

Israeli police Tuesday arrested  15 Ashdod Port workers – many of them in senior positions – who are suspected of engaging in a variety of bribery-related offenses.

The arrests, made by the Lahav 433 unit, the police unit tasked with fighting corruption and organized crime, came after a lengthy undercover police investigation, which was carried out in conjunction with the tax authorities.

According to police, several port employees were working to advance the interests of private companies that are controlled by their friends and relatives and that earn profits for some of them – directly or indirectly – in exchange for bribes and benefits from those companies.

The investigation also confirmed suspicions that several port workers, acting together, were pressuring other companies that wanted to provide services in the port into promising that they will hire the services of the private companies they wished to promote, often at the cost of hurting the port's earnings.

Several of the suspects' homes and offices were searched. The suspects will be brought before a judge at the Petah Tikvah Magistrate's Court at 15:00 on Tuesday.