Five public officials in Beit Shemesh were among ten persons taken into custody during a raid involving Israel Police and Israel Tax Authority officials.
A large police force arrived in Beit Shemesh during the night of motzei Shabbos and made arrests at a number of homes. The locals are already used to seeing police arrive at night and there was an immediate reaction, protests and demonstrations against police forces. However, this was not about arresting people for breaking the law during protests or evading the draft, but this was about public officials accused of taking bribes and breaking other laws.
This time, the suspects include a candidate for mayor in the city who runs a certain department in the city, a businessman, an architect and a lawyer.
The list of detainees includes two public servants, who appear to have used their public position for their own gain. The project, which appears to be the Beit Shemesh Holyland project, involves a building project on Sfas Emmes Street. In 2016, the Satmar Kehilla in Kiryas Yoel purchased the project and has already invested at least $4 million. It is added the persons who invested in the project are American citizens.
Israel Police’s 443 Major Crimes Unit conducted a clandestine investigation for some time, and when sufficient evidence was gathered, the arrests were ordered. The suspects face charges including bribery, fraud, breach of trust, and tax evasion.
According to the suspicions, the suspects allegedly received money in exchange for advancing the interests of others, in violation of the law. The suspects were brought for questioning by the police, and on Sunday afternoon, 21 Iyar, they will be arraigned in the Rishon L’Tzion Magistrate court.
Eight months ago, in BeChadrei Chareidim reported that the Jerusalem police fraud investigators arrested Yeshayahu Ehrenreich, a member of the Beit Shemesh municipal council, and holds the education portfolio in the city. He was arrested along with his associate, on suspicion of diverting the terms of a public tender to transport children worth hundreds of thousands of shekels or more, in a manner that led to a certain company winning it, despite the fact that it did not meet the required conditions.
During the investigation, Ehrenreich’s office in City Hall was raided by police. Eight months later, on erev Shabbos, Ehrenreich received a letter from police informing him he was not be charged due to a lack of evidence.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem/Photo Credit: #דוסינייעס)