Roth killer arrested by Argentina cops

Chance encounter leads Mendosa police to convict Moshe Ben-Ivgi.

By
May 15, 2010 22:02
2 minute read.
Roth killer arrested by Argentina cops

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Police in Argentina arrested Moshe Ben-Ivgi on Saturday, who fled Israel in 2004 after being convicted of the 1994 murder of cab driver Derek Roth in Herzliya.

Police in the Argentinian city of Mendosa captured Ben-Ivgi and a second Israeli national by chance, after officers became suspicious of his behavior. Ben-Ivgi refused to identify himself, police said, but officers photographed him after the arrest and concluded that he was an Israeli citizen.

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The photos were then transferred to the Israel Police representative in South America, Ch.-Supt. Yossi Klein, who confirmed that Ivgi was a fugitive of the law who is wanted in Israel. A finger print analysis provided final confirmation of Ivgi's identity.

In 2009, Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Ben-Ivgi.

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

Ben-Ivgi, who was aged 14 during the murder,  was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

His sentence was extended by five years after Ben-Ivgi went on a robbery spree targeting two convenience stores while on a prison leave of absence.

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Following the robberies, the Israel Prison Service sought to remove Ben-Ivgi's leave of absence rights, but the High Court ruled in favor of an appeal by Ben-Ivgi to retain the rights.

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 Argentinian police at an address in a suburb of Buenos Ares for drug offences. Israel began extradition proceedings against Ben-Ivgi, although no extradition agreement between the two countries exists.

In 2007, Argentinian authorities released Ben-Ivgi on bail, since according to Argentinian law, an individual cannot be held criminally responsible for crimes they committed as minors.

Since then, the State Prosecution's international department and the Israel police have attempted to have Ben-Ivgi extradited back to Israel on murder and grand larceny charges.

Ben-Ivgi was ordered to present himself at an Argentinian police station once every 20 days while an Argentinian 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, but then Ben-Ivgi suddenly disappeared.

Argentinian police officers who came to Ben-Ivgi's home found that he had escaped.

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