Dror Alperon released from custody as another high profile police arrest goes nowhere

Son of murdered crime boss was arrested for alleged role in double murder in Petah Tikva earlier this year.

Dror and Omer Alperon in court 370 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Dror and Omer Alperon in court 370
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Dror Alperon, the son of murdered former organized crime boss Yaakov Alperon, was released from police custody on Monday, less than a week after he was arrested for his alleged role in a double murder in Petah Tikva in June.
Alperon was released from the Kfar Saba police station without having to return to court, and will be able to attend his wedding this week.
Out of a total of five suspects since last Monday, including four Alperon family members, only two remain in custody, Eli Fartush and Asher Gini.
Both Fartush and Gini were brought in for a remand extension on Monday, and will remain in custody for three more days.
The double murder case that the central district police have built against the five appears in danger of collapsing entirely.
If it does, it would represent the latest in a series of high-profile arrests of alleged organized crime members over the past month that did not lead to indictments. Those high-profile arrests were made amid public criticism over police effectiveness in fighting organized crime, following a series of car bombs recently.
The Dror Alperon case is thought to be a complicated story of revenge over a beating, which is speculated to have led to the murders of two men including an innocent bystander that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In the shooting in June, a motorcyclist stepped off the back of his bike and ran to a building still in construction, shooting dead Eli Orkabi, 35, and Eran Fartush, 42, in broad daylight on a quiet residential street next to a kindergarten and a high school.
Orkabi was an alleged organized crime figure well-known to local police, who had served three years for manslaughter after killing a man in 2000 during a fight over a beach chair on the Hilton Promenade.
The other victim, Eran Fartush, was the contractor supervising the building site, and is not believed to have been the intended target.
Police believe that Orkabi was killed to avenge the beating of Reuben Partush by Eli Reuben, an associate of Orkabi’s who ran a “gray market” bank in the Petah Tikva shuk (outdoor market).
Together with a number of accomplices Reuben reportedly beat Partush severely over an outstanding debt, setting the wheels of revenge in motion.
Within days of the beating Reuben was wounded in a shooting by unknown assailants soon after which Orkabi and Fartush were killed.
Last week Reuven Partush’s mother, Chaya Alperon, was arrested for her alleged role in the killing, but was released the next day, on Tuesday.
Dror Alperon and Chaya Alperon’s son Reuben were both arrested following her release, last Wednesday, but were then released this Monday morning.
In court on Monday, Attorney Moshe Yochai criticized the arrest of Gini, saying that his obstruction of justice charge is linked to the fact that he told police that Eli Partush was with him at the time of the killing.
“Since when is stating an alibi an obstruction of justice?” Yochai asked.
Gini works for Partush at the food trailer he owns in the Petah Tikvah industrial district, a well-known local eatery serving schnitzel and sabih sandwiches.
“I have a business, I work 11 hours a day, I don’t have time for these sort of things,” Partush said in court on Monday.
While the judge acknowledged that neither men have a criminal record and there is reasonable doubt that either Partush or Gini played any role in the killing, he said there were two items of evidence that justified keeping them in custody.
Joined in court by loved ones and Nissim Alperon, the head of what remains of the Alperon crime family, Partush walked out in handcuffs telling his wife “they have nothing on me, I’ll be home soon.”
Minutes earlier, Alperon made some sort of signal to Partush and was promptly tossed from the courtroom by the judge.
Outside the courthouse, Yochai said the case against all five suspects is quite weak and accused the police of trying to “blur the fact that they had to release Dror Alperon. They tried to make headlines last week by arresting him again. Today, when he was released they did it from the police station and didn’t allow the press to see him, but when they arrested him they told all of you what time to go to the courthouse.”
The apartment building where the double murder took place is a location well-known to central district police investigators.
Several of the units in the building were purchased by organized crime figures, including Orkabi, crime family head Avi Ruhan and his associate, Chico Ben-Adeh.
Ben-Adeh was also arrested last week on weapons charges along with two other suspects.
In another high profile arrest by police, Ruhan was taken into custody last month for his alleged role in the car bomb murder of two men at the Sharonim junction in July, but was released days later with no charge.