German economic newspaper Handelsblatt reported that businessperson Miki Ganor raked in €11 million (NIS 45 million) on deals with German company ThyssenKrupp. Ganor received most of his payment as part of the recently publicized submarine deal, which included the acquisition of four sea vessels for the protection of the Israeli marine gas reserves.
Criticism of the deal raised questions regarding a conflict of interest due to the involvement of attorney David Shimron, who was representing both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ganor, who was in turn representing ThyssenKrupp. Accusations of corruption have claimed that Shimron torpedoed a tender over the deal, having instead offered it solely to ThyssenKrupp.
ThyssenKrupp, for its part, confirmed to Handelsblatt that opening the deal up to a tender would have been against the company’s interests, as similar bids from South Korea and France could have been found to be less expensive.
ThyssenKrupp has stated that its contract with Miki Ganor, who was the company’s official representative in Israel, "requires him to seek the company's approval for any subcontractor working on his behalf," which he did not do.
"The company did not approve Shimron's employment by Ganor, and if indeed Ganor hired him without approval, it is a breach of our contract with him. The issue is under investigation."
The recent accusations have caused ThyssenKrupp to launch its own investigation into the matter. According to sources within ThyssenKrupp, the scandal could even “lead to the deal’s extermination,” as chances of canceling it “are increasing.”
Even Ganor's appointment to ThyssenKrupp's representative in Israel has been called into question. Ganor began this job in 2009. According to his predecessor, Shaike Barkat, Ganor managed to nab the position after then commander of the Israeli Navy, Eliezer Marom, threatened to never purchase another submarine from ThyssenKrupp if it did not replace Barkat with Ganor. Sources within ThyssenKrupp confirmed Barkat's story. "What can you do if you want to strike a deal?" a captain from the company's shipyard was quoted as saying.