Two suspects arrested in botched mob hit

Police probe whether prior intel existed; suspects, target all apparently associates of Aberjil mob.

lautin 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
lautin 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The police are likely holding an investigation behind closed doors to determine whether any of its units possessed information that could have warned about the mob shooting in Bat Yam on Monday in which an innocent mother of two, Marguerita Lautin, was killed, MK and former deputy police commissioner Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Tuesday. "Dozens of families are under police surveillance - their telephone and cellphone communications are monitored - while others are closely followed, as was the case yesterday," he told The Jerusalem Post. Aharonovitch said the police may have obtained a court order to keep its internal inquiry secret for the time being. Meanwhile, police have arrested two suspects believed to be the gunmen, Ronen Ben-Adi, 39, and Shimon Sabah, 41, and retrieved a gun said to be used in the attack. The two suspects were remanded Tuesday for 10 days in a hearing at the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court. Police were examining the possibility that the mob hit was a result of an internal feud in the Aberjil crime family, according to some reports. The National Fraud Unit did not confirm the reports, saying only that "all options are being examined." Senior police officers have publicly defended the handling of the incident, and denied prior knowledge of the attempted hit. A team from the National Fraud Unit was keeping surveillance on Moti Hasin and Rami Amira, both said to be Aberjil crime family associates who were sitting at a beachfront café at the time of the attempted murder. Reports speculated that either one could have been the intended target. Hasin was stabbed a year and a half ago in Ramat Gan during a dispute with the rival Alperon crime family. Immediately after the shooting, police arrested Hasin and Amira. National Fraud Unit Dep.-Cmdr. Roni Ritman said his officers had been on a routine intelligence gathering operation during the shooting. "The situation was not known in advance," he said. "Unfortunately, we could not have prevented the murder." Earlier Tuesday, senior police officers and Public Security Minister Avi Ditcher arrived at the scene of the killing, as Tel Aviv police attempted to assuage public fears by deploying an increased number of police horseback patrols around the Bat Yam beach. "We have a very good police force," Ditcher told Israel Radio. "Despair is not a plan of action... for the first time in many years, an innocent woman was killed in a mob hit. Within minutes, police captured suspects. This shows the skills [of the officers] and [points to an] improvement, though that will not console the family of the victim."