Police: African migrants were held hostage by gangs in Sinai

Kidnappers demanded ransom from relatives of people who wanted to infiltrate border into Israel to join their families; two men indicted.

January 21, 2010 14:45
Police: African migrants were held hostage by gangs in Sinai

eilat african refugees 248 88 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi )

Two men, from Eritrea and Ethiopia, were involved in kidnapping Africans who tried to infiltrate Israel, according to an indictment filed against them at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The African immigrants were allegedly held hostage in Sinai and suffered abuse, while the kidnappers contacted their relatives in Israel and demanded ransom.

The men, Nagasi Habatti and Fatwei Mahri, cooperated with gangs in Egypt and smugglers, as well as with contact people inside Israel, the indictment alleged.

Israeli authorities launched an investigation into the matter after two migrant workers from Eritrea and Ethiopia told police that their relatives who had tried to come to Israel were being held in Sinai for the last two months.

A third man investigated on suspicion of involvement in the plot, an Eritrean citizen, was put on conditional release.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town