Argentine cops nab Israeli fugitives

Roth murderer Ben-Ivgi, train crash culprit Va’adyia in detention.

May 16, 2010 03:15
2 minute read.
Argentine cops nab Israeli fugitives

moshe ben-ivgi 248.88. (photo credit: Channel 10)


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Police in Argentina arrested Israeli fugitives Moshe Ben-Ivgi and Yonatan Va’adiya last week.

On Tuesday, police officers captured Va’adyia, who fled Israel after being convicted of criminal responsibility for a lethal 2006 train crash at Beit Yehoshua near Netanya. Va’adiya’s arrest was made possible following a joint investigation by Argentine and Israeli police.

Va’adiya, a veterinary, allegedly abused sedatives, which led to his falling asleep at the wheel of his car, stuck on the railway. A train that failed to stop on time hit the vehicle. Several carriages were dislodged in the collision, leading to the deaths of five people and the injury of about 100 more.

Ben-Ivgi, who fled in Israel in 2004 after being convicted of the 1994 murder of cab driver Derek Roth in Herzliya, was captured on Friday in the city of Mendoza when local cops became suspicious of his behavior.

He refused to identify himself, but officers photographed him after the arrest and concluded that he was an Israeli.

The photos were then transferred to the Israel Police representative in South America, Ch.-Supt. Yossi Klein, who confirmed that Ben-Ivgi was wanted in Israel. A fingerprint analysis confirmed Ben-Ivgi’s identity.

In 2009, Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for him.

In a murder which shocked Israel, Roth, 50, who had immigrated from England, was shot several times in the back while in his cab. The murder was carried out by Ben-Ivgi and a second teenage accomplice, Arbel Aloni.

Ben-Ivgi, who was aged 14 at the time, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. His sentence was extended by five years after he went on a robbery spree, targeting two convenience stores while on a prison leave of absence.

Following the robberies, the Prisons Service sought to remove Ben-Ivgi’s leave rights, but the High Court of Justice ruled in favor of an appeal by Ben-Ivgi on the issue.

In 2004, Ben-Ivgi used another leave from prison to escape to Argentina, where he made contact with other Israeli criminals on the run.

A few months later, Ben-Ivgi was arrested by police for drug offenses at an address in a suburb of Buenos Aires. Israel began extradition proceedings against him, although there is no extradition agreement between the countries.

In 2007, Ben-Ivgi was released on bail, since according to Argentinean law, an individual cannot be held criminally responsible for crimes he committed as a minor.

Since then, the State Prosecution’s international department and the Israel Police have tried to have Ben-Ivgi extradited to Israel on murder and grand larceny charges.

Ben-Ivgi was ordered to present himself at an Argentinean police station every 20 days while an Argentinean court proceeded with the extradition request.

In 2009, the Buenos Aires court was going through the final stages of hearing Ben-Ivgi’s appeal against the extradition, when he disappeared. Argentinean police officers who came to Ben-Ivgi’s home found that he had fled.

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