TEL AVIV - The Petah Tivka Magistrates Court extended the remand Wednesday of Israel’s consul in Holland for five days, after he was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust.
Earlier, the international crime squad arrested 51 year-old Uriel Yitzhaki at Ben Gurion International Airport upon his arrival to Israel for a visit.
Yitzhaki is suspected of abusing his authority as consul and supplying Israeli passports to those not eligible for them, in exchange for large sums of money and perks.
A gag order had been placed on the investigation and details were released for publication on Wednesday.
Yitzhaki was appointed consul to The Hague in August 2002, after serving in several Israel embassies, including New York, Vienna, Nairobi and Singapore.
More than 150 passports issued
The crime squad first began investigating Yitzhaki in July 2004, following a complaint and intelligence information suggesting that he had been issuing Israeli passports in return for money and perks, including stays at luxury hotels and tens of thousands of dollars.
A secret investigation revealed that Yitzhaki issued more than 150 passports against consular regulations.
Head of the international crime squad Amitai Shai told Ynet that the investigation began in July 2004, after the Foreign Ministry received an anonymous tip regarding the consul’s conduct in Holland.
“The investigation was kept a secret until the consul’s arrest yesterday (Tuesday) on suspicion of bribery, fraud and breach of trust,” he said, adding that the Dutch police offered full cooperation throughout the investigation.
“We deliberated about his (Yitzhaki) arrest, we finished the investigation a few days ago and decided to wait until he arrived in Israel,” he said. “Once we realized that he would be arriving...we sent teams to Holland to prepare for his arrest.”
The Foreign and Interior Ministries also aided in the investigation.