Watchdog Ranks Israel Among Nations with Most Effective Anti-Bribery Enforcement

According to watchdog group, Transparency International (TI), Israel ranks as one of the nations most effective in enforcing anti-bribery laws, Globes reported Wednesday.

According to TI, in the three years since it issued its last report, Israel has gone from lowest ranking in fighting bribery to the highest.

While Israel has made it criminal to bribe public officials in 2008, it only started prosecuting such cases over the past two years.

Enforcement of the anti-bribery law is carried out by Israel’s State’s Attorney office in conjunction with representatives from Israel Police, Israel Tax Authority, and Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority in the Ministry of Justice, according to Globes. Investigations are carried out by a unit called Lahav 433 with the Israeli Police’s National Fraud Squad and are handled by the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s office.

The first bribery case that Israel was credited with prosecuting was against NIP Nikuv International Projects, which admitted to paying a $500,000 to secure an NIS 33 million ($9.2 million) deal with Lesotho. The company was penalized NIS 4.5 million ($1.26 million).

Other Israeli business people and companies under investigation for bribing foreign officials include Teva Pharmaceuticals, Shapir Engineering & Industry Ltd., Israeli Shipyards, Shikun & Binui, and billionaire Beny Steinmetz.

The ranking puts Israel in a class with the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, and Norway, The Times of Israel reported. TI classifies these seven nations, who account for 27% of global exports, as “active” enforcers of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) 1997 Anti-Bribery Convention.

Eight countries improved their ranking since the last TI report.

[Photo: The.Comedian / Flickr ]