Police: Engineer Forged Dozens of Building Safety Documents

YERUSHALAYIM -
Construction work on new homes outside Afula. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Police have arrested an individual whom they say forged the signatures of building engineers who are supposed to sign off on the structural integrity of new buildings, Channel 20 reported. According to police, the suspect, a 30-year-old Arab resident of the village of Ein Nakuba, was responsible for 32 such forgeries, on the basis of which 64 buildings were constructed in the suburbs of Yerushalayim.

The buildings, it turns out, were never inspected, and it is not clear if they constitute a threat to the public. Because of this, it is likely that at least some of the buildings will have to be torn down, with each valued in the millions of shekels, the report said.

The suspect operated a building inspection firm, which promised to supply engineers to inspect buildings. The engineers need to sign off on the safety of a building before it gets clearance for the installation of water, electricity, and so forth. An undercover police investigation revealed that the engineers whose names appear on the documentation did not sign it themselves, and that they had never inspected the buildings. Nearly all the buildings were in the Mateh Yehudah Regional Council. At the time of his arrest, the suspect had filed several dozen other requests for engineering approval using the same method, the report added.

In a statement, police said that “forgery and false representation in construction constitutes a clear and present danger for people living in the affected buildings. We will use all means at our disposal to bring to justice those that engage in this kind of forgery, thus endangering the public.”