African migrant walks with suitcase in south Tel Aviv 370 (R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner )
Following a long undercover investigation, police this week managed to apprehend
a man they believed counterfeited dozens of work and residence permits for
illegal African migrants in Israel.
The undercover police Lahav 433 fraud
unit raided the 29-year-old Tel Aviv resident’s home on Monday and found dozens
of illicit residence and work permits, as well as a large amount of cash and
several computers and cellphones they suspect he used in his
The suspect was brought before the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s
Court on Monday, where his remand was extended by six days. He faces charges of
counterfeiting documents, using counterfeited documents, and fraud. An
additional suspect was arrested Monday afternoon and police will bring him for a
remand extension to the court on Tuesday morning.
Over the last few
months, illegal African migrants in Israel have faced a worsening situation in
the country, where they number an estimated 60,000.
Under a new
“anti-infiltration” law that went into effect in June, people who illegally
cross into Israel can be jailed without trial for up to three years. With the
law in effect the migrants – who were already not allowed to legally work in
Israel – are not eligible for the temporary residency permits they used to
receive upon arrival in Israel, which would keep them from being jailed if they
were stopped by immigration officials.