Couple 'impersonated cops to rob brothels'

Louis and Isis Sarhan are charged with using false identities to steal credit cards, cash, cellphones from prostitutes, clients.

January 4, 2012 12:00
2 minute read.
[illustrative photo]

Police car in Tel Aviv at night 311. (photo credit: Yoni Cohen)

A couple arrested in December for impersonating police officers in order to commit acts of theft and fraud, including raiding brothels, were indicted in the Haifa District Court on Wednesday morning.

Attorney Avi Or-Zach of the Haifa District Attorney’s Office served the indictment, which charges Louis Sarhan, aged 32, and his then-wife, 30-year-old Isis Abu Hussein (formerly Sarhan) with multiple offenses, including impersonation, fraud, false imprisonment, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and credit card fraud.

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Spanning over 35 pages, the indictment charges the pair with posing as various different people, including police officers and employees of telecommunications company Cellcom, to commit a number of crimes. The pair allegedly fraudulently hired cars, stole and used credit cards, raided brothels and even kidnapped prostitutes on the pretense of taking them into custody.

According to one incident listed in the indictment, last October Sarhan and Abu Hussein drove to a brothel in Haifa. Sarhan donned a Border Police uniform, on which he pinned a police badge bearing the name “Eyal,” and carried a fake M-16 gun. Abu Hussein sported a regular police officer’s uniform complete with a hat.

The couple then allegedly burst into the brothel, shouting “Police, nobody move!” Sarhan is alleged to have threatened “H,” one of the women in the brothel, that she would go to prison.

According to the indictment, Sarhan pointed a gun at H, and ordered her to bring him cash, threatening that otherwise he would “turn the place upside down.”

Abu Hussein is then alleged to have led H to a side room where she instructed her to remove her clothes before searching her body.

The couple allegedly made off with over NIS 3,000 in cash, a laptop, credit cards and eight cellphones. They also ordered H to leave with them, telling her that she was being “detained for questioning.”

The couple allegedly put H in their car, which they had equipped with a flashing light and a radio, and drove her north. After pulling into a gas station near Acre, Sarhan allegedly pointed his gun at H, while Abu Hussein ordered her to hand over a gold medallion, necklace and a gold ring with three diamonds.

After H complied, the couple allegedly drove her back to Haifa, where they released her adjacent to the courthouse, after giving her NIS 60 and telling her to call herself a taxi home.

The couple are alleged to have carried out similar “raids” and kidnappings in other brothels and massage parlors, including in Tel Aviv, Hadera and Kiryat Motzkin.

The indictment also charges that Sarhan posed as a senior Cellcom employee, allegedly even placing stickers bearing the company logo onto the sides of his car to maintain the deception.

On one occasion, Sarhan is alleged to have convinced a car rental company to lease several cars to him, after presenting a forged document saying that Cellcom would pay.

Meanwhile, later on Wednesday afternoon, the Haifa District Court ruled to extend Sarhan’s and Abu Hussein’s remand until January 22, when the court will hear a request to hold them in custody for the duration of the legal proceedings against them.

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