Police nab Israeli-Arab mob family head, 16 associates

Abdel-Kater family faces charges of extortion, drug dealing, gun running, tax evasion, money laundering and a series of other violent offenses.

December 4, 2012 04:21
2 minute read.
Israel Police officer [file]

Israel Police officer 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Police arrested the head of one of Israel’s top organized crime gangs on Monday morning as part of a string of arrests that saw 17 members of the Abdel-Kater crime family in handcuffs by midday, Central District police reported.

The early morning raids were carried out by the Central District branch of the YAMAR investigative unit, along with the Tax Authority’s Yahalom investigative branch. Police said the Abdel-Kater family faces charges of extortion, drug dealing, gun running, tax evasion, money laundering and a series of other violent offenses.

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According to Cmdr. Yigal Ben-Shalom, head of YAMAR’s Central District branch, Mabruk Abdel-Kater along with his son and second- in-command Adi Abdel-Kater run the largest crime family in the Triangle area, which includes the Israeli-Arab towns of Taiba, Kalansuwa, Tira and several others. The Taiba-based family runs a criminal enterprise that deals mainly in extortion and drugs and brings in millions of dollar annually in illicit proceeds.

Ben-Shalom told The Jerusalem Post that Mabruk, the former vice principal of a Ramle-area public school, has passed himself off as a community leader, a “legitimate” businessmen and the public face of the crime family, while behind the scenes he pulls the strings on the gang’s criminal enterprise.

Though the arrests today don’t deal with any murder charges, Ben-Shalom said that the Abdel-Kater family is suspected of being responsible for a string of gangland killings in recent years in the Triangle, an area that is plagued by gun violence. A number of those killings involved the family’s feud with the Umm al-Fahm-based Hariri crime family, Ben-Shalom added.

The Hariri clan came up in the remand hearing at the Ramle Magistrate’s Court on Monday, where Radi Abdel-Kater stood in handcuffs telling reporters, “We’ve all been framed.

The police are doing the work of the Hariri family; they’re behaving even worse than they do in the territories.”

When asked what he meant, Radi told reporters, “It’s over your head; there are things here you don’t understand.”

In the remand hearing at the courthouse, a plainclothed YAMAR detective battled with the crime family’s legal team, and presented the judge with what he said are the facts of a seven-year investigation that has at its heart over 70 cases of violent extortion of people in the Triangle. The detective said the case also deals with drug dealing, gun running, and money laundering on a massive scale.

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