Tel Aviv DA indicts 4 mobsters for Bat Yam hit

In addition to the murder charge, the 4 are charged with illegal possession of a gun and conspiracy to commit a crime.

March 27, 2012 02:20
3 minute read.
Suspect arrested [illustrative]

arrest 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )

The Tel Aviv district attorney filed an indictment on Monday, charging four men in connection with the 2011 gangland murder of Avi David.

David, a known criminal underworld figure, was shot dead at close range last October outside a restaurant in the beach town of Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv.

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One of the four men indicted for David’s murder in the Tel Aviv District Court is 33-year-old Rishon Lezion resident Mordechai “Moti” Hassin, reputed to be in charge of the notorious Abergil crime family syndicate.

Police believe Hassin took the reins of the Abergil family after Itzik Abergil and his brother Meir were extradited to the US in early 2011 on a litany of drug and violent crime charges.

While Itzik remains incarcerated in the US awaiting trial, Meir was freed and returned to Israel in August 2011. Police said on Sunday that they believe Hassin carried out the two gangland murders partly as a means of establishing his position as the new leader of the crime family and a force to be reckoned with.

Indicted alongside Hassin are three Bat Yam residents: Zalman Shlomo Niamchik, 29, Ofir Niamchik, 28, and Yitzchak Zarabi, 29.

In addition to the murder charge, the four are charged with illegal possession of a gun and conspiracy to commit a crime.

In a separate charge, Zalman Niamchik is accused of the murder of Itzik Geffen, who was assassinated in a second gangland shooting at a gas station near Holon’s Wolfson Medical Center, two months after David’s murder.

None of the four men indicted are accused of firing the gun that killed David. Allegedly, they were an integral part of a plot hatched last year to assassinate the underworld figure by luring him to the Bat Yam restaurant where they contacted fellow gang members to perform the assassination.

The four allegedly equipped themselves with a stolen Kawasaki motorcycle, a stolen Glock pistol and untraceable cellphones. Then then used the phones to set up a meeting with David at the restaurant, according to the indictment. The same afternoon Hassin and Zalman Niamchik allegedly arrived at the restaurant, while Ofir Niamchik waited outside in a car.

According to the indictment, Hassin made phone calls from the restaurant bathroom to other unidentified gang members, in order to coordinate the shooting. Six minutes later, an unidentified gang member arrived at the restaurant, the indictment said, walked up to David and shot him five times at close range.

Immediately after the murder, Hassin, Zalman and Ofir escaped the scene of the crime and drove to Hod Hasharon, while remaining in phone contact with Zarabi, who had remained in Bat Yam, the indictment said.

The other unidentified gang members allegedly fled the scene on the stolen Kawasaki, which they abandoned together with the gun near Zarabi’s house in Bat Yam.

Zalman Niamchik is also charged with the murder of Itzhik Geffen on November 19, 2011.

According to the indictment, Zalman plotted to arrange a meeting with Geffen at the Paz gas station outside Wolfson Medical Center, where he would be gunned down. To prepare for the hit, Zalman and his fellow gang members armed themselves with a 9 mm. pistol and two motorcycles, the indictment said.

After scheduling a meeting with Geffen, Zalman is alleged to have arrived at the gas station on the back of a motorcycle driven by an unidentified gang member. Five minutes later, Geffen arrived and he and Zalman sat at a table in the gas station courtyard shortly before two other gang members rode up on motorcycles, the indictment alleges.

The indictment says that Zalman then got up and ran to a waiting motorcycle, fleeing the scene moments before one of the other gang members fired a hail of bullets at Geffen, killing him. Allegedly, the unidentified gunman then rode away on his motorbike.

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