YERUSHALAYIM - The Israeli Police investigation of suspected corruption in the purchase of submarines from Germany surfaced again in the local media on Wednesday, with fresh allegations of document shredding, tax evasion and a ban on German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp from communicating with its office in Israel.
Attorney Ronen Shemer, who worked at the legal firm of Miki Ganor – a close associate of Prime Minister Netanyahu and ThyssenKrup’s official representative in Israel – is reportedly being investigated for possibly shredding and removing documents relevant to the police probe. Shemer, who remains in police custody, denied the charge, according to a Ynet report.
Shemer may have been involved in Ganor’s overseas companies that are suspected of not reporting taxable income to the Israel Tax Authority.
Shemer’s lawyer, Yael Grossman, stated that “he is an employee of Ganor’s and only performs technical work for him. He is not involved in his (Ganor’s) deal and has no interest in them. The police are acting to extend his arrest to receive information about other people’s actions, though he himself has no partnership in them.”
Earlier in the day, it also emerged that the Israel Police prohibited ThyssenKrup’s representatives in Israel from having contact with the company’s headquarters, according to Ynet. Police are pursuing evidence that bribery and money laundering were a part of the deal between ThyssenKrup and the Israeli government in the procurement of submarines.
“We’ve discovered a very concerning conduct with regards to security procurement deals in Israel that are worth billions,” a police representative said in court on Monday. “The findings (of the investigation) raise a real suspicion of ethical offenses, breach of trust, bribery, money laundering, and tax offenses.”
In response to the reports, ThyssenKrupp denied that it has any substantial evidence of wrongdoing by Ganor. But the company issued a statement saying that following Israeli reports, it will launch an investigation of its own into the matter.