Israel's largest bank involved in massive illegal money-laundering schemes
Over twenty employees of Israel's largest bank - Bank Hapoalim - were arrested in Tel Aviv Sunday in what officials called the biggest money-laundering case in the history of Israel, thought to involve hundreds of millions of dollars in the past year.
According to Haaretz, the massive illegal money-laundering schemes included leading "oligarchs" from Russia, who also had business interests in Israel.
Investigators said that hundreds of millions of dollars were illegally laundered through the bank over the past year. Police sources said they have evidence that senior officials in the bank knew about the laundering and chose not to report it.
Police are now investigating whether senior executives at the national level of the bank were aware of the money-laundering, the Tel Aviv-based newspaper added.
On Sunday, police froze 180 accounts held by 18 customers at the branch.
Police described several of the laundering methods they say were used at the bank. In some cases, large sums of money would flow into an account and immediately flow out, in smaller amounts, to shell companies around the world, in an effort to hide the original source of the funds.
A second way was to break up large sums of money into smaller amounts deposited in separate accounts in the bank, thus enabling businessmen to avoid the rule requiring the bank to report cash transfers of more than NIS 1 million if it involves money from overseas or NIS 50,000 (just over US$10,000) if it is money from inside Israel.