Israeli fugitive sought by US escapes to Sri Lanka

Maariv reported Thursday that Kobi Alexander, the voicemail technology fugitive wanted in the US on stock option manipulation charges, has escaped to a small fishing village in Sri Lanka. The Maariv daily said a private Israeli investigator tracked down Alexander. Alexander, a dual citizen of Israel and the US, is the former chief executive of US-based Comverse Technology Inc. He and two other former top executives of the company are wanted in the US on suspicion of having secretly manipulated stock actions for profit. The two other executives have turned themselves in to US authorities, but Alexander disappeared - after having transferred $57 million to Israel. Maariv said the private investigator, Moshe Buller, discovered Alexander's whereabouts through an Internet phone call placed by the fugitive. Buller, who was hired by a US venture capital company, was out of the country and refused to comment on the report, the newspaper said.