Israel: Police Upend Major Alleged Crime Ring
Israeli Police raided an alleged crime syndicate from the Taibeh area on Monday, arresting 17 people suspected of being senior operatives in the Abdel Khader organization and seizing assets worth millions of dollars, including houses, luxury cars, bank accounts and even horses, Haaretz reports.
The Taibeh municipality has become a prominent source of income for the Abdel Khader gang, which has expanded its operations over the past two years, police told reporters. The Abdel Khader gang achieved notoriety for its turf war with the rival Hariri crime ring in Tel Aviv, a conflict which has claimed dozens of lives. Police told Israeli media, though, that the organization has been seeking to expand into the center of the country and has forged alliances with several Jewish crime rings.
Police indicated that the Abdel Khader group is involved in almost every branch of organized crime: murder, protection rackets, tax crimes, illegal weapons and money laundering.
Monday's raid followed a two-year undercover investigation conducted jointly by police, the Israel Tax Authority and other government ministries.
During the probe, investigators found evidence that the Abdel Khader ring had taken over a great deal of city business in the Taibeh municipality, garnering major contracts that no one dared oppose. Among other business ventures, according to police, the syndicate apparently controlled the city's trash collection.