Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen warned Wednesday that recent police successes against senior mob kingpins have created a power vacuum in the organized crime scene, and that warring intermediary gangsters could become more violent as they try to make their way to the top tier of the underworld.
Cohen spoke at the Tenth Herzliya Conference, held at the Interdisciplinary Center’s Lauder School of Government.
Eleven mob leaders out of a recognized 18 organization heads have been put behind bars in recent years, according to police figures, while approximately 57 mid-level mobsters are in jail.
The wave of arrests have led to new conflicts, such as the 2009 street brawl between southern crime lord Shalom Domrani and Avner Harari, described by police as “the No. 1 assassin” in Israeli gangland.
Meanwhile, the second generation of the Shirazi, Alperson and Abutbul organizations are now vying for control and trying to create their own power base.
Police have over the past two years arrested Amir Mulner of Ramat Gan, Shai Shirazi of Netanya (son of Netanya underworld boss Rico Shirazi), and Itzik Bar Muha of Jerusalem.
During the Herzliya Conference, Cohen met with New York City Police
Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly, and discussed organized crime,
youth crime and violence and importance of community policing.
Kelly presented Cohen with recent statistics showing how crime has
dropped in New York, and spoke of the policy he was pursuing to
maintain the lower crime rates.
The two police chiefs also discussed ways of maintaining and increasing cooperation between the police forces.