Mob kingpin suspected of ordering hit that killed bystander remanded

Expert tells 'Post': Arrest probably made possible by intel from hitmen.

Itzik Abergil 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Itzik Abergil 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Alleged crime family head Itzik Abergil was arrested late Thursday night in Arad on suspicion of ordering the assassination of members of his own organization in Bat Yam on July 28, in which an innocent bystander was killed when the hit went awry. Abergil's remand was extended on Friday by 10 days at the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court. His arrest was likely made possible by information provided by one or both of the hitmen who were arrested shortly after the attack, according to organized crime expert Prof. Menahem Amir, of the Institute of Criminology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Someone apparently talked," Amir said on Saturday evening. "This is what allowed Abergil to be arrested." Marguerita Lautinare, 31, was shot in front of her husband and two children on the Tobago Beach after Ronen Ben-Adi and Shimon Sabah arrived on motorcycles and opened fire at Moti Hasin and Rami Amira, both said to be Aberjil crime family associates. The gunmen were arrested by National Fraud Unit officers who were keeping Hasin and Amira under surveillance at the time of the shooting. Police later said the gunmen were attempting to kill two men, but stopped short of naming Ben-Adi and Sabah as the targets. Abergil's imprisonment is a "disgrace" for the alleged mob kingpin," Amir added. "He has not been incarcerated until now." But any attempt by police to prevent Abergil from disrupting the investigation into the attack would be difficult to implement, Amir said, since Abergil "can operate from prison, and have his people on the outside do whatever he wants." During the custody hearing on Friday, the presiding judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence to tie Abergil to the Bat Yam shooting. Abergil arrived in court under heavy security, provided by both the National Fraud Unit and Petah Tikva police. He was surrounded by National Fraud Unit officers during the hearing, and appeared in court with his hands and feet handcuffed. Police had asked for a 15-day extension of remand, due to the "character of the suspect and the nature of the investigation." Abergil does not know the gunmen and denies any ties to the shooting, his lawyer told the court. He is not cooperating with police and is exercising his right to remain silent, the lawyer added. Previously, Amir told the Post that crime bosses "are disconnected from the soldiers to avoid being incriminated." But cooperation between organized crime soldiers and the police can scuttle such safeguards. July's hit was likely an inside job ordered "because crime family because of acts of treachery," Amir said. Most gangland shootings are the results of internal feuds, Amir said, rather than wars between families, although the Abergils are known to be in a feud with the Alperon family.