CEO at heart of Ashdod port scandal arrested for witness tampering [Jerusalem Post (Israel)]
(Jerusalem Post (Israel) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The CEO of a company at the heart of the Ashdod port corruption case was arrested on Monday on charges of obstruction, for allegedly trying to manipulate witnesses in the case against him and officials at the Ashdod port.
The suspect, Yaniv Belter, is the CEO of 'Dana', one of the companies at the heart of the scandal, which is accused of purchasing port services at a fraction of the normal price because of Belter's ties to Ashdod Port Workers Union Head Alon Hassan. Another suspect, Hassan's cousin David Hassan, was also arrested along with Belter on Monday, but was released to house arrest.
Belter and David Hassan were among 15 suspects, including Alon Hassan, who were arrested by Israel Police as part of a major corruption case built along with National Tax Authority investigators. Ashdod Port CEO Shuki Sagis, a Hassan alley who resigned in July, was also among those arrested.
In addition, shareholders of oil and gas company Shemen were also questioned for their dealings with the court, though the company has denied wrongdoing. The case involves suspicions that port officials, including Hassan, created mechanisms for helping certain private companies that they were close to or that were run by associates, in their dealings with the port.
The suspects received bribes or made money through their partnership in the companies, according to police. At the time of the arrests, police said that they estimate that the bribes totaled around NIS 10 million paid over the past two or three years.
In June, Alon Hassan was at the center of another major police case, when well-known lawyer and media personality Ronal Fisher was arrested on suspicion of being the middle man in a series of bribery deals between his police officers clients and others. The case includes allegations that he took tens of thousands of dollars from Hassan in exchange for an offer to hand over details of the investigation against him.
He also was reported as having tipped off Hassan about an upcoming raid on his offices at the Ashdod port. Fisher was arrested following a sting operation during which he handed over a suitcase to Hassan and was arrested.
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