By YAAKOV LAPPIN
Underworld figure Yossi Harari and three associates were arrested on Monday night on suspicion of running an extortion scheme and making threats against a car sales businessman.
The arrests were made by the polices Lahav 433 anti-organized crime unit following a long undercover investigation.
According to police, Harari came into contact with his intended victim after being asked to mediate a dispute between the businessman and another man. During a "reconciliation" meeting held at a Tel Aviv hotel, both parties were asked by Harari to undergo a polygraph test to prove their sincerity.
Harari "settled" the dispute by demanding that the businessman pay money to him, and to the other man.
The businessman struggled to meet the high payment demands, and after coming under threats, gave Harari a vehicle. As the threats continued, the desperate businessman contacted the police, which launched the undercover investigation.
Harari's attorney, Eli Cohen, denied the allegations, and said that the car was given to Harari as part of a "payment of debts."
Harari, together with twin brother Roni, has for several years been associated with the notorious "Ramat Amidrar gang" in the Pardes Katz neighborhood of Bnei Brak, and linked to a number of crime wars.
Harari was brought to the Ramle Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, and his custody was extended by three days.
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