According to the allegations, the employees collected data on some two million credit cards. Several weeks ago the company received a threat that the ringleaders would expose or sell the information if Leumi Card did not pay millions of shekels.
In an unusual move, the lawyers were provided documents that were blacked out to prevent the leaks of sensitive information and the session was held behind closed doors. Similar procedures are generally undertaken in sessions with the Shin Bet or those which may impact the security of the state.
The lawyers of one suspect, Yair Moshyev, said his client denied any and all wrongdoing. "He has no connection to the matter except for his social affiliation with the suspects, in a Whatsapp group. The proceedings were classified as if they have the potential to harm national security."
The affair began when an email was sent to the bank's management some two weeks ago by the central suspect – an employee in the credit department who was fired last year and currently resides in Thailand.
The affair was initially subject to a gag order but was then permitted for publication when the suspects were brought Saturday night to court in Rishon LeZion. The investigation was conducted partially on the Darknet and during its term several extortion suspects were arrested.
Gilad Morag contributed to this report.