Trade bank assistant investment manger Esther Alon, who confessed to the police embezzling an estimated NIS 250 million from the bank, in recent years duly reported vacation days but came to work, TheMarker has learned.

Bank of Israel regulations clearly state that workers in sensitive positions, such as branch managers or investment advisers have to take annual vacation of 14 successive days.

These instructions are designed to make it difficult for workers to embezzle or to carry out other illegal operations with customer monies.

The big banks said they are very strict about this procedure. There are banks that take an even more rigorous approach, favoring employee transfers between branches. The regulations of the central bank say that a branch manager cannot serve in the same position over five years.

Alon, who probably didn't want to arouse her superiors' suspicions, reported vacation days but continued coming to work. She knew that if she was absent from the bank the embezzlement may be discovered, for instance by a customer requesting a bank statement from another employee.

The authorities are expected to investigate the issue of vacation, and try to establish how was it possible that nobody at the bank noticed that Alon worked despite reporting vacation.

Nicole Krau reports: Meanwhile the police said that as soon as the Prohibition on Money Laundering Law came into force, Alon decreased the amounts stolen from the bank, which she distributed among a larger number of bank checks. This is hindering the investigation because Alon didn't roll bank checks only through "real" accounts, but also through fictitious accounts. Thus, whenever the investigation comes to a dead end, the police have to petition the court for a document discovery order, and obtain from the bank the identity of the relevant account holder, the police said.