"Events attended by politicians, tycoons and criminals can never be good for a policeman, because tomorrow, they might be in the interrogation room," a senior police officer said. It’s too easy in those situations for cops to be tempted to divulge secrets, the source said.
Should Top Cops Be Socializing With Top Haredi Rabbis?
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Ha’aretz reports that senior police officers regularly attended events hosted by Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who was arrested last week for allegedly attempting to bribe a senior police investigator and for money laundering.
Pinto and his wife Rivka were arrested late Thursday night after the Pintos were caught giving police Brig. Gen. Ephraim Bracha suitcases full of tens of thousands of dollars in cash in exchange for information about the investigation Bracha's unit is conducting into Pinto’s activities.
But Bracha had already reported the Pintos’ bribery attempt to Maj. Gen. Yoav Segalovich, head of the police investigations department, a few weeks ago, telling Segalovich that the Pintos had offered him NIS 200,000. Segalovich told Bracha to go along with the Pintos’ bribery attempt so the Pintos could be caught in the act.
And they were.
Bracha and Pinto decided that that Pinto's wife would give the money to Bracha's wife. Once the money transfer took place, Bracha would give Pinto the desired information.
Instead, police videoed Rivka Pinto handing the money to Mrs. Bracha. And then they immediately arrested Rivka Pinto and her husband.
Pinto has an estimated net worth of more than 75 million NIS and is connected to many of Israel’s leading politicians and businesspeople. He also has religious centers in at least 20 cities worldwide. However, his New York City charity has been shown to spend large amounts of money on designer watches and jewelry for the Pintos personal use, along with designer and custom made clothes for the Pintos and their children. His Israel charity was recently caught taking food donated to it to feed Holocaust survivors and instead selling the food on Israel’s gray and black market for cash. There is no clear record of where that money went.
The Pintos’ alleged attempt to bribe Bracha caused some of his colleagues to harshly criticize the top cops who frequent the courts of rabbis like Pinto and the “X-Ray” Rabbi Yaakov Ifergan, where the cops socialize and mingle with politicians, businessmen – and criminals. Officers who want to seek the blessing of or advice from a rabbi should do it privately, they say, rather than attending the rabbi's public events.
"Events attended by politicians, tycoons and criminals can never be good for a policeman, because tomorrow, they might be in the interrogation room," a senior police officer told Ha’aretz. It’s too easy in those situations for cops to be tempted to divulge secrets, the source said.
Sources to Ha’aretz that police brass will discuss the problem in the next few days, and as a first step they will reportedly ban police officers from attending such events in uniform.
Virtually all senior police officers - including Tel Aviv police chief Aharon Aksel, Jerusalem police chief Yossi Pariente –routinely attend hillulas (memorial or yartzeit commemorations) hosted by rabbis. Sources note that these rabbis often use their political connections to try to get promotions for the police officers who frequent their events.
"The officers who go don't go there to get a blessing; they go to meet important people," a senior police officer told Ha’aretz.