Two officials in the Border Crossings, Population and Immigration Administration have been arrested on suspicion of extorting female foreign workers, allegedly demanding sexual contact in exchange for granting them extensions on their residence permits, police said Tuesday.
One of the men, a clerk at the administration, was arrested last week after several women came forward and accused him of requesting sex in order to ensure that they would not be deported from the country, Army Radio reported. Police said a search of his apartment revealed illicit drugs.
A second official, arrested on Monday, is suspected of extorting sex from at least one foreign worker in a similar fashion. Police said their investigation into the scandal was ongoing. It was not clear if the two accused had actually engaged in sexual relations with the foreign workers, or had only attempted to do so.
A lawyer representing the two employees maintained Tuesday that his clients were innocent and the accusations were fabricated.
Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers live in Israel, working mostly as caregivers and construction workers and in the hospitality industry.