Businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison was questioned by anti-corruption unit Lahav 433 for some eight hours on Sunday, in connection with the Shikun & Binui bribery probe.
Alongside Arison, Israel’s wealthiest woman, CEO of Arison Investment Efrad Peled was also questioned. Both women were questioned under caution.
A statement released by police and Israel Securities Authority on Sunday said that officials from the housing and construction company Shikun & Binui are suspected of bribing foreign government officials and other offenses.
The bribes were allegedly intended to advance construction projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Kenya and other countries.
“As part of the Israel Police’s organized battle against offenses relating to public corruption, the investigation continues into bribery of a foreign public employee and offenses under the Securities Law,” read a joint statement released by Israel Securities Authority.
The investigation is being carried out by the police in cooperation with the Israel Securities Authority, international law enforcement agencies, and with the assistance of the State Attorney’s Office.
The Arison Group said in a statement, “Shari Arison and Efrat Peled were summoned in advance to Lahav offices 433. They cooperated fully and are confident that there was no flaw in their conduct – and that this will also be the conclusion of the law enforcement authorities. The Arison Group has zero tolerance for any inappropriate conduct. The group worked, works and will work to set high ethical standards in all its activities and fields of investment in Israel and around the world – and will continue to do business with added value for the benefit of the economy, society and the environment.”
Shikun & Binui said in February four current and former employees of a foreign subsidiary had been detained for questioning by police on suspicion of bribery in Africa, including CEO Ofer Kotler.
US-Israeli businessman Naty Saidoff last week bought a 47.5 percent controlling stake in Shikun & Binui for 1.1 billion shekels ($296 million) from Arison Investments, the investment arm of Arison.
Reuters contributed to this report.