Top Israeli Official Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Millions of Dollars From Defense Ministry

Yuval Sharabi, construction and engineering chief for ministry's north district, questioned as criminal suspect

Police arrested a senior Defense Ministry official on Monday on suspicion of stealing tens of millions of shekels from the government and military.

Yuval Sharabi, director of construction and engineering for the ministry’s northern district, has been questioned under caution, or as a criminal suspect.

Police suspect that Sharabi took bribes from contractors in exchange for sending contracts their way. They also arrested three contractors who have done infrastructure work for the defense establishment.

The alleged scam went on for years, police said. The contractors are suspected of submitting bills for work they either never did or only partially completed. Sharabi would file false reports indicating that the work had been completed, they said. The contractors would then receive their payment, and Sharabi allegedly received a portion of the profits, they added. 

Possible charges being weighed against all four suspects, based on evidence from cell phone data and their lap tops, include bribery, aggravated fraud, and breach of trust. 

Sharabi has been suspended since January due to the investigation launched by a defense ministry security unit a year ago. Police got involved in the case at a later stage.