Police Officer Charged With Accepting Bribes and Sex in Deal With Local Brothels

Indictment claims intelligence officer provided information on police operations to two brothel owners in addition to impeding ongoing investigations

File photo: Outside a brothel in Tel Aviv.
Meged Gozani

A Haifa police intelligence coordinator accused of providing information on police operations to two brothel owners as well as helping them avoid the attention of police was charged on Thursday with accepting bribes, breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

The indictment filed by Justice Ministry’s department for investigating police officers said Gary Rabinovich assisted brothel owners in return for money and other benefits – including a “right to use” the services of one of the brothels.

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One of the brothel owners, Barak Pagy, gave the officer use of the brothel, located in an apartment in Haifa, and provided him with a phone to stay in touch with him, the indictment says. The other brothel owner, Alex Novikov, who turned state’s evidence in the case, allegedly paid Rabinovich for his protection.

Rabinovich is accused of with speaking to police investigators and trying to divert investigations to benefit the brothel owners, as well as lying to another police officer and telling him one of the apartments in Haifa under suspicion was not used as a brothel.

In addition, he is charged with instructing Pagy on what to tell the police when he was questioned. Rabinovich is also charged with agreeing to make sure the police raided other brothels in the building where Novikov’s brothel was located in order to harm his competitors. According to the indictment, Rabinovich called Novikov during the raid and told him to lock the doors of his brothel and promised the police would not raid their brothel.

Rabinovich was arrested about 10 days ago. The Justice Ministry investigators asked the court to keep him under arrest until the end of the criminal proceedings against him, or to only release him with restrictions.

The investigators also filed an indictment against Pagy and one of his employees, Amar Kna’ana, for running a brothel, bringing women to Israel to work in prostitution and conspiracy. Pagy is also accused of bribing a police officer.

The police said: “We view this exceptional case seriously, which violates the ethical standards of the Israel Police and the law. This act is immoral and violates the rules of behavior expected from any person – and from a law enforcement person in particular. Therefore, it has been decided that the police officer will be placed on forced vacation, and his continued service will be reconsidered in accordance with the legal proceedings in his case.”