Cable: Russian mob laundered over $10b. with Israeli assets

Wikileaks document says Israel incapable of dealing with organized crime.

By RAN DAGONI
December 6, 2010 07:37
2 minute read.
(wikileaks.org)

WikiLeaks logo 58. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WikiLeaks has leaked a cable, dated 15 May 2009, from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the State Department and other US authorities – including the FBI, US Customs and Border Control, and the Department of Homeland Security – which states that the Israel Police and courts are incapable of dealing with organized crime. The cable says that the embassy tries, not always successfully, to prevent the entry of Israeli organized crime figures into the US.

In the cable, entitled “Israel: a Promised Land for Organized Crime?,” US Ambassador James Cunningham wrote, “Organized crime (OC) has longstanding roots in Israel, but in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the reach and impact of OC networks. In seeking a competitive advantage in such lucrative trades as narcotics and prostitution, Israeli crime groups have demonstrated their ability and willingness to engage in violent attacks on each other with little regard for innocent bystanders.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“The Israeli National Police and the courts have engaged in a vigorous campaign against organized crime leaders, including the creation of a new specialized anti-OC unit, but they remain unable to cope with the full scope of the problem. Organized crime in Israel now has global reach, with direct impact inside the United States.”

The cable’s author demonstrates extensive knowledge of Israeli organized crime, possibly with the assistance of the FBI office at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. The cable discusses whether organized crime has infiltrated Israel’s political life.

“It is not entirely clear to what extent OC elements have penetrated the Israeli establishment and corrupted public officials. The Israel Police insists that such instances are rare, despite the occasional revelation of crooked police officers in the press. Nevertheless, there have been several dramatic revelations in recent years that indicate a growing problem. In 2004, former government minister Gonen Segev was arrested for trying to smuggle thousands of Ecstasy pills into Israel, a case that produced considerable circumstantial evidence of his involvement in OC. The election of Inbal Gavrieli to the Knesset in 2003 as a member of Likud raised concerns about OC influence in the party’s Central Committee. Gavrieli is the daughter of a suspected crime boss, and she attempted to use her parliamentary immunity to block investigations into her father’s business.”

Gavrieli is no longer a member of Knesset.

The cable extensively cites an anonymous source, called “xxxx.” It is not clear who censored the name, but WikiLeaks says that it edits the material.



The cable notes “Israel’s multi-ethnic population provides a deep well of opportunity for Israeli OC to expand into new territory.”

Most Israeli crime families trace their roots to their countries of origin, and this is also true of the Russian oligarchs and Jewish organized crime members.

“Little is known about the full extent of Russian criminal activity in Israel, but sources in the police estimate that Russian OC has laundered as much as $10 billion through Israeli holdings.”

The cable adds, “The profit motive serves as a great unifier among Israel’s diverse demographic groups. According to “xxxx,” some Amsterdambased Hasidic groups allegedly are implicated in international drug smuggling through links to Israeli OC.

“Arab and Jewish Israeli criminals routinely cooperate and form alliances to expand control of lucrative drug, car theft and extortion rackets. Even hostile and closed borders pose few obstacles to OC groups.”

Related Content

The Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
April 30, 2015
Teva doubles down on Mylan, despite rejection

By GLOBES, NIV ELIS