Two High-ranking Israeli Foreign Ministry Staff Nabbed Over Suspected Embezzlement

Department head allegedly spent hundreds of thousands of shekels on household items and family vacations.

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Two high-ranking Foreign Ministry employees have been arrested for allegedly embezzling hundreds of thousands of shekels of the ministry’s funds.

After a covert investigation, detectives of the police’s National Fraud Squad arrested a veteran department head of the Foreign Ministry for embezzling ministry funds for private purposes. The investigative material indicates that the 58-year-old department head took liberties with the ministry’s funds, allegedly buying meat, household items and alcoholic drinks for his family while noting on official documents that he was purchasing them for the ministry. He used the same method to take his family to hotels in the north and in Eilat, stating on ministry forms that he was hosting dignitaries who had come on official visits to Israel.

Another high-ranking employee from the ministry’s finance department, a long-time friend of the department head, has also been arrested. Police officials believe that he knew what the department head was doing and approved all his requests even though he knew they were acts of theft. At this stage, police are trying to determine the extent of the finance department employee’s involvement.

The police are aware that the finance department employee knew that the expenses the department head claimed were fraudulent. But at this stage, it is not clear what the finance department employee received in exchange for his part in the embezzlement. In addition, police are also looking into the purchase of electric appliances and office equipment that the department head bought, since they believe that the embezzlement amounts to hundreds of thousands of shekels. The investigation went from covert to open today, and police searched the homes of both suspects.

They are to be brought to the Rishon Letzion magistrate’s court for a remand hearing Monday afternoon, and more arrests are likely.

The Foreign Ministry in JerusalemCredit: Tess Scheflan / Jini

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