Prison for 3 involved in ‘Pomegranate Tree’ racketeering

A total of 16 people were indicted in the case in which the defendants used violence and the threat of violence to collect money.

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March 1, 2012 05:10
1 minute read.
Illustrative photo

Prison jail generic. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced three men convicted of involvement in a racketeering ring to prison sentences on Wednesday.

Gonen Ben-Ezra and Eili Pinchas Madanprost were convicted under a plea bargain of carrying and transporting an illegal weapon. Alek Krikli was convicted, also under a plea bargain, of conspiring to throw a hand grenade into the yard of a former associate.

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Judge Zvi Gurfinkel sentenced Ben-Ezra to two years in prison, a suspended sentence of 15 months and a fine of NIS 3,000.

Madanprost received 20 months in prison, a 15 months suspended sentence and a NIS 20,000 fine.

Krikli received 25 months in prison, a year’s suspended sentence and a NIS 2,000 fine.

A total of 16 people were indicted in the case, which police have dubbed the “Pomegranate Tree Affair.”

The men – residents of Or Yehuda, Jaffa and the Arab villages of Jaljulya and Taybe – were charged with multiple offenses including attempted murder, extortion, blackmail, assault, arson, malicious damage by explosives and others.



According to the indictments, in multiple instances, the defendants used violence and the threat of violence to collect money from people who had borrowed money from them at exorbitant interest rates.

The indictments revealed that the gang members were methodic in their use of violence and the threat of violence, and were motivated by sums ranging from one thousand to tens of thousands of shekels.

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