ISRAEL has received a top mark for its work in combating international bribery.
This puts the Jewish state among the world leaders in this field.
In just three years, it has improved from the worst category to the best.
The top-rating award has been given by the Transparency International organisation for countering corruption in the international business arena.
It includes money laundering, and tax and accounting violations as well as foreign bribery.
Britain and America also received praise for their anti-bribery enforcement.
Israel’s meteoric rise is the result of the successful conclusion of its first-ever foreign bribery case, by means of a settlement, and a sharp increase in the number of investigations opened since the last reporting period.
The report highlights the settlement reached by Israeli company NIP Global — also known as Nikuv — in December, 2016, in which it was fined £919,000 after admitting it had paid more than £383,000 in bribes to a senior Lesotho interior ministry official in order to get government contracts.
NIP sells digital and biometric solutions for population registers, national identification cards, border controls and fingerprint identification.
Bribing a foreign public servant has been listed in Israeli law as an offence since 2008.
But the law enforcement authorities have taken action in such cases only in the past two years. Enforcement reached a peak in recent months with breakthroughs in three out of five investigations.