Israeli Kamikaze Drone-makers to Be Charged With Fraud

Ten Aeronautics employees are expected to be charged with aggravated fraud and violating defense export laws

Aeronautics' Orbiter drone
Aeronautics

The prosecution will indict 10 employees of the Israeli drone-manufacturing company Aeronautics, Israel's Justice Ministry said Wednesday.

The suspicions attributed to the company managers and employees are fraudulent acquisition and a violation of the law overseeing defense exports. 

The Justice Ministry stated that letters summoning the employees for a court hearing were sent to the company's CEO, Amos Matan, Deputy CEO Meir Rizmovitch, development director Haim Hivzshar, marketing director David Goldin and others.

In August 2017, the Defense Ministry made the unusual announcement that it was suspending the company's permission to sell and export drone technology to a certain client. Following the announcement, the police opened an investigation, and a gag order was issued concerning details of this probe.

The branch supervising defense export allowed Aeronautics to continue to sell its products to other countries, but after the freezing of the company's license, its stocks in the stock exchange dropped by 17 percent. 

The company, which is based in Yavneh, south of Tel Aviv, produces other kinds of unmanned technological devices. Its revenues in 2016 were estimated at over 420 million shekels ($116.198 million).