Following a year and a half-long investigation, police arrested 20 Israelis suspected of extortion, tax fraud and money laundering. The network is accused of laundering tens of millions of dollars and euros all over the world online.


Illustration Photo Credit: Israel Tax Authority/Channel 2 News

Police arrested 20 Israelis suspected of being members of a money laundering network worth millions of dollars. Some of the suspects were already known to the police for previous connections to crime organizations in Israel.

The arrests occurred following a year and a half-long undercover investigation. Israeli security forces surrounded various locations around Israel and arrested 20 suspects for charges that included money laundering, extortion, forgery, connections to criminal acts, tax fraud, threats and corruption.

The investigation results concluded that the network’s involvement was far-reaching, ongoing and included many other countries. Most of the network’s activities took place in Israel but made use of various internet platforms to create fronts to use when dealing with foreign companies. The laundered money was transferred from abroad to the suspects in Israel through various channels.

International money laundering schemes, also referred to as “social engineering,” have been gaining momentum over the past few years. Suspects involved often used the names of fictional companies and officials, forged various documents and made use of fake identities to open bank accounts both in Israel and abroad. These steps were backed by the criminals in Israel who received a portion of the earnings in exchange for their support of the fraudulent operations by use of extortion and threats.