Arrest [illustrative] 370.
(photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)
Following a five-month undercover sting operation, police raided over a dozen
Jaffa houses on Wednesday morning and arrested 15 men, one of whom is suspected
of overseeing the making of explosives for Tel Aviv underworld figures, and a
second that police say tried to solicit a mob hit from a Jaffa criminal working
undercover as a police informant.
During the early morning raids,
detectives and officers from the YASAM Special Patrol Unit arrested the 15
suspects, most of whom are residents of Jaffa.
In addition to the alleged
bomb-maker and the man who tried to solicit the mob hit, the other suspects are
believed to be involved in a series of drug and weapons offenses, including
several incidents in which the informant recorded them selling him firearms,
including sub-machine guns.
Ch.-Supt. Nissim Daudi of the Tel Aviv
district’s YAMAR investigative unit said that the undercover agent was a
Jaffa-based criminal in his 30s who had served time in the past for a number of
violent crimes. Daudi noted that the suspects already knew the agent well, and
so he did not have to waste time earning their trust, as when police officers
are sent undercover.
Possibly the most serious charge in the case
involves the man who the informant recorded trying to hire him to carry out a
hit for northern mob boss Michael Mor. Police said that the man – an Arab
Israeli from northern Israel who works for the Mor crime family – had been
ordered to find a contract killer willing to murder a member of the rival
Karajah crime family, following the stabbing of Mor’s brother in an Israeli
prison last year. The man was an associate of the police informant and decided
to visit him in Jaffa to see if he’d be willing to carry out the hit, Daudi
During the five months the informant was working in Jaffa, the city
saw an escalation of tension between rival crime families, marked by several
Against this backdrop, the informant was reportedly
able to record himself purchasing five explosive devices from the main suspect.
Daudi said the bombs ranged in price from about NIS 3,000 to NIS
Daudi did not specify why the informant worked for police, but
did list a number of motivations, including that police may have offered to
clear a pending case against him.
All 15 suspects will be brought before
the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s court on Wednesday.