Photo: Shaul Golan
Union boss Alon Hassan being taken for questioning
Photo: Shaul Golan
Suspected mastermind in Ashdod port corruption back in court
Union boss Alon Hassan is suspected of making millions from coercing companies at port into using his family's logistical support business.

Alon Hassan, the chair of Ashdod port workers' union and the suspected mastermind behind allegations of massive corruption involving tens of millions of shekels, is facing a remand extention Monday, at the request of the police unit that has spent a year investigating the claims.



Hasson, considered the "king" of the port, was brought shackled at his hands and feet for questioning Sunday by officers from Lahav 433 - the Israel Police unit dedicated to fighting corruption. And if investigators have their way, it will not be his last round of questioning.


Along with Hassan, three other suspects in the Ashdod port corruption affair were to appear in court on Monday - brothers Yaniv and Uri Belter, the owners of Dana Port Services, and David Hassan, Alon's close relative and deputy director-general of Dana.


The arrests of the four last Tuesday were the culmination of a 12-month covert police investigation into alleged widespread corruption at the port. Police were investigating a variety of suspected illegal activities, including extortion and money-laundering involving tens of millions of shekels. The four were also the subjects of wiretapping during the investigation. Officers from the National Financial Investigations Unit, of which Lahav is part, will ask for remand extentions as part of the ongoing investigation.


The central police suspicion is that Alon Hassan used his position and power to force companies operating at the port to only use Dana, which provides logistical and operational services on site.


According to the suspicions, companies choosing to use private operational services providers were subject to sanctions imposed by the powerful union chairman. Police further believe that a certain amount of Dana's revenue, millions of shekels in total, went straight into Alon Hassan's pocket after being laundered to disguise its origins.


While Alon Hassan does not have any formal ownership of Dana, police suspect that he is the power behind the throne. Yaniv Belter, one of Dana's owners, is a childhood friend of Hassan, and the two were previously business partners in a restaurant venture. Hassan is also the uncle of David Hassan, the deputy DG of Dana.



"We have prima facie evidence that Dana is actually Alon Hassan's company," a police source said Sunday. "Officially, the Belter brothers are the owners, but Hassan was the one managing the company's affairs and extracting large sums of money."


Police investigators have in recent days presented these allegations to Hassan and Yaniv Belter. The two, along with the rest of the suspects, deny the allegations.  


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