3 arrested in suspected 2012 mob hit

The killing last September took place about a year after a string of murders in the Tel Aviv area.

By
February 7, 2013 04:57
1 minute read.
Ben Saban

Saban370. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

 
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Almost five months after Sharon Mizrachi was shot to death while sitting in his car in Bat Yam, police on Wednesday arrested three men they suspect took part in the murder, believed to be part of an internal struggle within the Abergil crime gang.

Mizrachi, 29, had a long record of arrests, and was a well-known member of the criminal underworld in the Rishon Lezion-Holon-Bat Yam area.

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The style of the murder resembles “red riding hood” type killings, where the victim is called for a meeting by a criminal associate he trusts, and then murdered at the scene.

The suspects include Ben Saban, Ran Amar and Noel Abergil. Police said Wednesday they expect further arrests in the coming days.

Attorney Carmel Betto, representing Saban in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, said his client has denied any connection to the crime, adding – like both of the other defendants’ attorneys – that he was a good friend of Mizrachi and that there is no evidence against him.

The killing last September took place about a year after a string of murders in the Tel Aviv area. Police believe they were ordered by Abergil family leader Moti Hassin, who took the reins of the organization after former leaders Itzik and Meir Abergil were extradited to the US in January 2011.

Hassin and three of his soldiers were indicted last March for two of those killings, including the murder of Avi David outside a Bat Yam steakhouse in October 2010, and the killing of Itzik Geffen, who was gunned down outside a gas station next to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon two months later.

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In both cases, as in the killing of Mizrachi, police said they believe the victims tried to cross over to different criminal gangs in central Israel, and Hassin and other high-ranking Abergil figures were trying to send a message to those considering switching sides.

Saban himself was the subject of an attempted mob hit outside the Coliseum club in Tel Aviv in 2010, and survived a gunshot wound to the head.

The attempted hit was in retaliation for the stabbing of an inmate in a shower room at Rimonim Prison by Saban

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