Israel police unit chief now a suspect in Pinto case

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto
Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto

Israel’s Justice Ministry department is investigating a high-ranking Israeli police officer for possibly accepting bribes from real estate adviser Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto. This is the second Israeli police official to be linked to the case.

Major General Menashe Arviv — the latest suspect in the investigation – oversees Lahav 433, an Israeli Police unit that handles fraud and financial investigations. The unit has often been compared to the Israeli FBI. Pinto was arrested after millions of dollars connected to his real estate investments disappeared, as The Real Deal previously reported.

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Pinto’s nonprofit was under investigation when he allegedly offered a roughly $57,000 bribe to Ephraim Bracha, a senior police officer who is now the commander of Israel’s National Fraud Squad, for information on the case. Pinto has claimed that he was a victim of extortion and was instructed to deliver a suitcase full of money to Bracha, as The Real Deal previously reported.

Pinto, head of a New York-based nonprofit called Mosdot Shuva Israel, is leaving house arrest for Israel this weekend as part of the ongoing investigation. [Haaretz]Mark Maurer