Police bust crime-ring in Ashdod

Linkage between organized crime, local gov't is "worrying and dangerous," southern police chief says.

March 19, 2012 12:31
1 minute read.
Police bust Ashdod crime-rin

Police bust Ashdod crime-ring. (photo credit: Courtesy Ashdod Police)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Detectives raided the addresses of 19 organized crime suspects and a senior Ashdod Municipality worker on Monday morning following a major undercover investigation.

Police and Tax Authority officials gathered evidence that pointed to the existence of a hierarchical crime organization that profits from illegal gambling, police said.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Proceeds totaled tens of millions of shekels, police added. Protection money extracted from businesses, sometimes with violence, was also a major alleged source of income for the organization.

During the investigation, suspicions emerged that an Ashdod Municipality employee was on the mob’s payroll, helping the alleged criminals launder funds and ensuring that they won public tenders.

“The evidence points to an organized, systematic and continuous connection and exploitation of contacts with a municipality worker to promote the objectives of the crime organization and gain profit,” police said.

For the first time, police and prosecutors will make use of Clause 4 of the Organized Crime Law, which tackles cooperation between criminals and public workers, and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Police say the use of the law is unprecedented, and a sign of things to come when dealing with crime organizations “and their wrongful connections with public workers.”


During Monday’s raids, officers searched the suspect’s home and seized a million shekels in cash, as well 11 luxury vehicles. Assets and properties worth tens of millions of shekels were frozen by police.

“This is a sad day for all lawabiding citizens regarding the wrongful connection between wealth and power,” Cmdr. Yossi Prienti, head of the police’s southern district, said following the operation.

He described the linkage between a mob outfit and a local government employee as “worrying and dangerous. It has kept me up at nights, and should set off warning lights for us all.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night