Police Suspect Ring Stole Land from Arabs

The Israel Police has completed an investigation into a group of people it suspects of fraudulently transferring land in Judea and Samaria from Arab to Jewish hands.

Among other things, the ring is suspected of stealing land from Arab owners in the Binyamin region, at Amona, Migron, Givat Haulpana and Givat Assaf.

The investigation was handled by a special team in the police's Lahav 433 unit, together with the Judea and Samaria District, in cooperation with the Coordination and Liaison Administration in Judea and Samaria and the Yahalom unit in the Tax Authority. It was accompanied by the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office.

The investigation, which lasted several months, included searches, in which relevant materials were seized. Dozens of suspects were interrogated, some under warning, including land owners, lawyers, “straw men” and impersonators.

In addition, testimony was taken from the land registration authorities in Judea and Samaria.

The investigators concluded that the main suspects – a resident of eastern Jerusalem, an Israeli lawyer who resides in Jerusalem and an Israeli lawyer who resides in eastern Jerusalem, whose names are under a gag order – collaborated in an organized and systematic way, and on a large scale, in order to transfer land from private Arab hands to Jewish hands.

The main suspects and others allegedly used impersonation and employed “straw men” who pretended to be the owners of the land, as well as forged documents that were presented as having been signed by the Arab owners.

The three main suspects attempted to transfer the ownership of 15 parcels and paid various sums of money to the straw men. Ownership was completely transferred for some of the parcels.

The police announced that the Head of the Department for Investigations and Intelligence has accepted the position of the Head of Lahav 433 and the special investigative team, according to which there is sufficient evidential infrastructure of the perpetration of crimes of forgery, fraud and tax offenses by the main suspects and others.”

The investigative file is being transferred to the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office, which will decide whether or not to file charges.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/199425

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