Police car in Tel Aviv at night 311.
(photo credit: Yoni Cohen)
Police arrested 70 suspects from across Israel overnight Tuesday in the one of
the largest anti-organized crime raids in recent years.
RELATED:Cops seize guns, bulletproof vests in Jaljulya raid 27 arrested in raid on illicit arms in Arab community
officers led by Coastal Police officers raided addresses in several cities, from
Nazareth to Eilat, after two undercover agents spent months purchasing weapons
and narcotics from the suspects, police said.
The investigation began
after a convict in his 40s, a resident of a northern village, agreed to become
an undercover police agent while still behind bars. Working with an undercover
police handler who operated outside of prison, the two men carried out dozens of
transactions, purchasing a MAG machine gun, rifles, handguns and bombs – weapons
criminals intended to use on one another, but which also posed a real threat to
members of the public who could have been caught in the crossfire. The two also
bought dozens of kilograms of heroin, cocaine, hashish and thousands of Ecstasy
“Some of the suspects are influential organized crime figures,” a
police spokesman said. Several are suspected of attacking police and threatening
the lives of officers.
Police impounded luxurious jeeps and all-terrain
vehicles in the raid, as well as water bikes. The Tax Authority froze bank
accounts and seized real state assets.
Before the raid, Cmdr. Hagai
Dotan, head of the Coastal Police, briefed officers preparing for the mission,
telling them that the raid would strike a serious blow to organized crime across
“We won’t be deterred by the complexity of the mission,” he
said. Dotan handed out certificates to honor the two undercover agents and their
“Dozens of indictments are being written up. This will have a
serious effect on organized crime across the country,” Dotan said.
of the suspects are affiliated with the crime organization of Michael Mor,
considered by police to be a major mob boss, who left the country. Mor served a
prison sentence for threatening the lives of police tracking him in Nahariya and
was released in 2009. Four of those officers were later themselves imprisoned
for planting explosives outside of Mor’s home. One of the officers was shot and
moderately wounded in a drive-by shooting in Nahariya in July.
suspects include Mor’s brother, and another man said by police to be linked to
the organization who owns a currency exchange store.