The fighter against corruption who became investigated like his predecessors: Carmel Shame and the entanglement…


In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Carmel Shama HaCohen was a young attorney who dealt in real estate and real estate appraisals. At the same time, he began to forge his own political path – a member of the Likud Center, the chairman of the branch of the movement in Ramat Gan, and a council member. In an investigation published at the time by Mickey Rosenthal on the “Bulldog” show, it was claimed that his access to internal information in the engineering department of the municipality by virtue of his public position allowed him to make profitable deals, which Emma Cohen He denied it. Rosenthal then referred to the way in which Shamma purchased a series of apartments in the Ramat Shekma neighborhood in Ramat Gan. Today, those very same apartments, in a different context, are at the heart of a criminal investigation of Shamma by the Tax Authority.

At the same time, the image of Shama himself, and especially of his family, was particularly bad – his father Pinchas was close to the man of the crime family Musa Alferon; The late criminal Shlomi Oz, who used to be the Alferon family’s debt collector, was Carmel Shama’s partner in the Likud branch in the city, Bnei Brit; The uncle was convicted of sabotage and running a gambling hall, the brother-in-law was convicted of laundering tens of millions of shekels. A series of investigations were then published about the young politician from Ramat Gan.

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He began to change his image when he was elected to the Knesset in 2009, then as chairman of the Economic Committee, which fights against centralization, and also the one who assisted in the investigation of Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar, who was convicted of bribery, and then in the investigation of Mayor Israel Singer, the case against him was closed. He called on the Prime Minister Netanyahu to resign following the indictments against him, promised to fight corruption in the Ramat Gan municipality and was even awarded the title of Knight of the Quality of Government. He was a member of Moshe Kahlon and the Kulanu Party and later Gideon Sa’ar, and managed the election headquarters of Tikva Hadada. When he was elected mayor, he presented a pluralistic and liberal agenda, supporting the gay community and public transportation on Shabbat, and gained a lot of sympathy in the secular public and the Israeli center-left.

Wild deer in the court, archive|Photo: Flash 90

But in recent years the clean image has cracked, a lot. A series of investigations published in News 13 showed how the municipality under him allegedly promoted projects related to him and his family as well as to his associates, sometimes in secret, while circumventing rules and under great pressure from his family members – among other things, controversial approval procedures, even these days, for a commercial center owned by his father that is worth tens of millions of shekels , as well as the father’s large store and more. Shama and his family deny the allegations and claim that everything was done legally.

Israel Singer (Photo: Flash 90, News)
Shama also assisted in the investigation against him. Israel Singer, former mayor of Ramat Gan|Photo: Flash 90, news

In that investigation by Rosenthal, it was claimed for the first time that Shama is using his political power to accumulate capital from real estate. He then himself purchased 50% ownership of at least 8 apartments in the city’s Ramat Shekma neighborhood, some through the Tenrik company and some with partners. The fear of a conflict of interest is inherent in a mayor With such significant real estate interests in his own city, he made a series of promises before the 2013 elections, when he ran for mayor for the first time: he promised that he would publish the addresses of all his apartments and those of his family members, that he would appoint a council member who is not from his party to chair the subcommittee for planning and construction and that he would conduct the debate on the family’s assets to the district committee, which is independent of the municipality. When he was elected in 2018 he did not keep any of these promises. On the contrary: he brought about the appointment of a close friend and who was his election activist, Sigal Horesh, to the most senior and sensitive position in the field of real estate – the city engineer, and for a very long time refused to submit a capital declaration.

New details on the investigation of Carmel Shama HaCohen
The line of family assets is at the center of the investigation
New details on the investigation of Carmel Shama HaCohen
Some of the assets at the focus of the case

3 years ago I published, then in News 13, an investigation about the apartments purchased by Carmel Shama, some of them through a company in which he owns 50% of the shares and some others together with a partner. A perusal of the documents revealed that although almost twenty years have passed since he purchased the apartments, he chose, deliberately, not to register them in his name as obligor, but through warning notes. Some of those who sold him the apartments have already passed away but for some reason are still listed as their owners. This puzzling behavior of Shama raised suspicion of an alleged attempt to evade taxes, and when I arrived at some of the apartments this suspicion grew. For example, a tenant of Shama claimed that the mayor comes to him every month to take the rent payment by hand. In another apartment, it is claimed that there is no written rental agreement, but an oral one, and every month money is transferred there to a girl who comes to collect.

These findings reached the Tax Authority, which opened an investigation. On Tuesday of this week early in the morning, the investigators raided Shama’s house, arrested him and his wife Vared, a director of the company that owns some of these apartments, and interrogated them under warning for 13 hours. A source involved in the investigation says that the suspicion is well-founded, but it is not clear whether it will end in an indictment or the payment of a tax ransom.

Carmel Shama HaCohen and his wife Vared (Photo: Flash 90)
were interrogated for 13 hours. Carmel Shama HaCohen and his wife Vared|Photo: Flash 90

Later that evening, her mother made a reference to the investigation in a post he wrote on Facebook: “The investigation concerns private matters, I was not asked about the Ramat Gan municipality or my previous public positions. I cooperated fully, and I believe that after examining the matter, the law authorities will come to the conclusion that the case should be closed.”

However, these apartments raised questions not only about the manner of their purchase by Carmel Shama and alleged tax evasion in the profits they generated, but also alleged construction violations and violations in many of them, as was revealed in the same investigation published on the subject. In the apartment on Yehoshaphat Street, for example, the permit is for 38 square meters, but the actual area is 8 times larger – more than 300 square meters. After the publication of the investigation on the subject, complaints were also submitted to the Ramat Gan municipality’s construction supervision department, but it did not open any treatment procedure on the matter and Shamma himself, the mayor, as mentioned, chose not to destroy his own alleged construction violations.

The investigation into the apartments that is ongoing these days is, as mentioned, by the Income Tax, but following the other investigations published in Shama’s case, complaints were filed in Blade 433, and an investigation was opened at the National Fraud Investigation Unit (NAU) at the time the investigation was opened, the acting commissioner was Moti Cohen. Only two months after he finished his position with the police, he was appointed by Shama to the position of CEO of the Ramat Gan municipality. The cooling-off law stipulates in the case of a senior police officer who was on duty at the time a mandatory investigation was opened of a 3-year cooling-off period before entering the position of an investigated body. Cohen submitted a special request for abbreviated The cooling off period, and Kibal – it was shortened to zero days. He took off his uniform and immediately went to the mayor’s office.

M
The days of chilling were reduced to zero: Moti Cohen joined Shama after taking off his uniform|Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90, news

The actual investigating unit is Yaha, a few months after Eli Makmel assumed the position of commander of the unit, the chairman of Ramat Gan’s Dearest Committee, Carmel Shama, recommended that his daughter-in-law, an educator named Ava Atir, be awarded the city’s darling award for the year 2021. CEO Motti Cohen approved the decision. The investigation file in Shama’s case was closed without anyone being investigated.

It didn’t end there: following another investigation, other than in real estate matters, complaints were filed with the police against Shama and the Ramat Gan municipality, these were transferred to the National Unit for Combating Economic Crime (YALK). The previous commander of the unit is Eli Esayeg, who led the 3000 and 4000 investigations – the submarine case and the Walla Bezeq case against Prime Minister Netanyahu. Esayeg left the police, a few months ago his mother brought to the city council a request to approve Esayeg as his personal assistant, a position that is filled Usually energetic young men in their twenties, certainly not senior commanders in the police. Following the publication, Assig gave up his position. As in the investigation at the Yaha, also in the one conducted by the Yalakh, which as stated Assig commanded a short time before, no one was questioned and no investigative action was taken actual

The head of the unit for the fight against economic crime, Tan
Appointed the mayor’s personal assistant. Eli Assig in his days in uniform|Photo: the news 12

The current investigation came to him, for him, from an unexpected place – the Tax Authority. In a year, the Ramat Gan mayoral elections will be held, and the ticket with which he ran in the previous elections – clean hands and personal honesty – may be greatly undermined among the residents of Ramat Gan.

Mayor of Carmel Shama HaCohen, archive (Photo: Kobi Gideon, Flash 90, News)
Shamma during his days in the Knesset|Photo: Kobi Gideon, Flash 90, news
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