The opinions of a private investigator regarding how the investigation of the Gabrieli family was conducted while Inbal Gabrieli was a Knesset member and chose to use her legal rights to protect her family home from being searched. Where are the boundari
Private Investigator – What He Thinks About Inbal Gabrieli
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Private Investigator – What He Thinks About Inbal Gabrieli


After a year of undercover investigations, the family of Knesset member Inbal Gabrieli appeared again in the headlines. The family, like any family, would be happy to forego the publication of their name in the headlines of all types of media. This time, it is not another private investigation ordered by one of the business rivals of the family at a private investigation agency.

This week, the homes and businesses of the Gabrieli family were raided by the central investigation unit of the Tel Aviv police and by investigators of the tax authorities equipped with search warrants signed by a court judge.

The roots of this week’s arrest of brothers Reuven and Shoni Gabrieli can be found in 1998. That year brought Reuven Gabrieli together with businessman Moti Menashe in order to found a gambling website called “Bet and Chat”. Inbal Shoni’s father, who had founded a company called “Net Market” (which was responsible for operating the gambling channels of the site), joined the venture.

The police investigations revealed that the suspects ran illegal gambling through the site, evaded taxes in the sum of tens of millions of shekels, and laundered money. Despite the great media interest, the suspects were released to house arrest for 10 days after their statements were taken and crosschecked with business information collected during the previous year.

This was not the first time that the Gabrieli family’s name appeared in headlines with relation to searches, private and police investigations, and arrests for similar suspicions. Bad publicity continues to upset the family every time.

The circumstances of the publicity, then and this week, do not benefit them either. They do not understand what is wanted from them. “I am not a criminal and have never been convicted in a court of law,” is the mantra heard from Shoni Gabrieli every time he is asked for a comment. For businessmen like them (and not just them), calm and distance from the spotlights are necessary.

The Gabrieli family also has several legitimate and versified businesses. When you’re connected to a gambling business in casinos and internet sites that brings in a large profit, however, that’s a whole other story that doesn’t look good. That’s the norm. There’s nothing to do about it.

The Gabrieli family has always known how to invest in the right places. The kids are set up with savings plans and apartments. Everyone has a profession and even representation in the Knesset.  Even if daughter Inbal is not reelected (which she will not be), father Shoni has no regrets. “If Inbal was not a Knesset member our case would not have been pursued.

Inbal’s nomination to the Knesset has only hurt us and given us a bad name. We are mere decoration - in this arrest we were used only for public relations purposes,” Shoni Gabrieli explained to the newspaper, Yediot Ahronot.

Father Shoni forgot just one important detail. If his daughter, Inbal, was not a Knesset member then the investigative search would have spread to his luxurious home on Tel Hai Street in Holon as well. Inbal the Knesset member stood in the doorway and physically prevented the investigators equipped with search warrants from doing their job.

The young Knesset member elected to use the law of immunity protecting her from a search or investigation in her own home. The investigators pulled away, chose not to confront the law of immunity, and the search was not conducted as planned. The actions of the immunity-protected Inbal made headlines that were no less publicized than the arrests of all those involved in the case.

The harsh reactions and criticisms following her actions came quickly. The Movement for Quality of Government approached the governmental Legal Advisor and demanded that he open an investigation to examine suspicions of tampering with investigation procedures.

The Chairperson of the Constitutional Committee in the Knesset, Michael Eitan, was not indifferent to the matter and publicized his reaction: “This is an obviously cynical use of immunity, performed only by the type of Knesset member who does not understand his or her role”.  Inbal Gabrieli understands her role precisely. She will no longer be a Knesset member, so what does she care?  It was more important to embrace and protect her father, Shoni.

Obviously, she is a devoted and supportive daughter who stands by her father every time he gets into trouble.  This time, daughter Inbal chose to make cynical usage of the law of immunity. Tampering with the investigation procedures regarding her father was not even on her agenda. She had immunity. She had nothing to worry about.

What is surprising about Inbal’s whole immunity story is that precisely on the morning of the intended search, Inbal suddenly “moved in” to live with her parents. Is this really the home where she lived with her spouse, Maccabi Tel Aviv goalie Liran Shtauber? As it turns out, Inbal actually lives with her spouse in a luxurious cottage on Mount Adar in Jerusalem Prozdor. The sign on the door of their communal home reads, “Inbal and Liran’s Place.”

My several years of experience as an investigation officer in the National Unit for Fraud Investigations and as director of an investigation division for the Business Limitations Authority led me to the assumption that either word of the intended search was leaked to her, or that by some unique coincidence she happened to go to her parent’s home either that morning or the night before. It is for this reason that there is a governmental Legal Advisor to examine the case and reach a verdict.

By the way, for those who have forgotten, this was not the first time that Inbal Gabrieli’s name was linked to wrongful use of her Knesset member status. About two and a half years ago Maytal Noi, her parliamentary assistant, tried to get her hands on the findings of a private investigation report dealing with sports gambling.  The report was submitted to the then governmental Legal Advisor, Eliakim Rubinstein.

The Gabrieli family was featured in this investigation report. Among other things, the report mentioned numerous companies owned by the Gabrieli brothers that dealt in illegal gambling activity.

Inbal was willing to do anything for her father, Shoni. She had no difficulty using her personal assistant to perform actions of a questionable nature and by doing so, jeopardize and tarnish her own status as a publicly elected official. Loyalty to the family was the name of the game. To her father, Inbal was a stock purchased by the votes of the Likkud party and then sold at a great profit on the day that she used her immunity to prevent a search of his home. 

Inbal plays by the rules of her family, and not by the ethical and normative standard expected of a publicly elected official. Her behavior is more in line with the acceptable norms in the centers of political parties. If deals are what determine your fate in the arena of a political party, for Inbal it was her loyalty to her family.

 As it appears, Inbal will not be reelected to the Knesset. Shoni Gabrieli really doesn’t need primary familial representation in the Knesset. He has several other representatives who he has helped get elected to the Knesset. His control and involvement in deals made during his time in the center of the Likud party helped bring his then unknown daughter straight into public view.

Inbal’s election to the Knesset aroused sharp criticism and commentary at the time, which mainly highlighted her familial connections as opposed to her inexperience in the political arena to which she had been initiated.

With a record like this, it is no surprise that the expressions used at the time by the State Comptroller - “Buying Power with Money” and later on “Fortune in Return for Power” - were associated with the Gabrieli family.

It is hard to get rid of questionable titles like these - they accompany you like shadows. You automatically turn into a suspicious person, targeted by the police. A police investigator seeking a search warrant from the courts in order to search the homes or businesses of Shoni Gabrieli should not find much difficulty.

As a rationale for the search warrant request and as an explanation for police investigations and arrests the magic phrases “suspicion of money laundering, and management of illegal casinos and gambling facilities” are used. This is exactly what happened this week with the arrests of members of the Gabrieli family. Knesset member Inbal Gabrieli did not add any honor to her family’s reputation. The already damaged honor of the family was tarnished once again. And, as it seems, not for the last time.

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