Itzik Abargil - Going to America?
Photo: Gil Yochanan

Abargil to be extradited to US for slew of crimes

Israeli reputed underworld ringleader indicted on crimes committed on American soil; According to LA Times, State Department considers him as one of world’s top 40 drug importers to US

"I have never been to the United States and all of the allegations against me are a police provocation, they are trying to falsely accuse me,” Itzik Abargil proclaimed Tuesday morning when he heard the details of the American remand hearing against him at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.


Abargil is being accused of an array of offenses: Murder, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion, heading a crime organization and conspiring to commit crimes.


The exact details of his actions in the US only began being revealed on Tuesday. The process of his extradition to the authorities there will begin soon.


According to the indictment, Itzik Abargil was involved in the murder of Israeli drug dealer Sammy Atias in Los Angeles after the latter allegedly stole money from him during a narcotics transaction.


The indictment also revealed that Abargil, his brother Meir and three other partners were involved in money laundering in the Mercantile Bank affair. Some of the embezzled money was transferred through them to the United States where it was laundered by means of business people who were also blackmailed.


The indictment also attributes to Abergil imports of the MDMA drug to the US and its distribution across the country.


LA Times: Abergil amongst top drug importers

According to the Los Angeles Times, the State Department considers Abergil as one of the world’s top 40 biggest drug importers to the United States.


The remand plea provided by the American authorities revealed that the inquiry into the case of Abargil and his accomplices has lasted for six years.


The FBI, tax authorities and law enforcement officials in more than 10 countries in America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East participated in his investigation.


The police scheme that prompted Abargil to face extradition to US law authorities was revealed on Sunday. At first, Abargil was notified that he will be released from the detention in which he was placed in light of the Margarita Lautin murder at the Bat Yam promenade.


However, the good news was quickly replaced by bad news for him; it turned out that a month ago the US submitted a request for his extradition.


During the indictment deliberation, Abargil’s attorney Sasi Gez raised difficult claims against the police.


According to Gez, the case looks like a police scheme since there was no intention of accusing Abergil for the offenses for which he is accused in Israel. “It looks more than strange that a man is arrested for one thing and on the day he is released, a plea is submitted for another offense. They never intended on arresting him on crimes committed in Israel,” said Gez.


The other defendants in custody are Itzik’s brother Meir, Sasson Barashy, Moshe Malul, and Israel Ozifa. They are also suspected of an array of offenses including drug trafficking and an additional murder.


Senior Israeli enforcement officials estimated that  US authorities have actual evidence in the case and said “the indictment puts an end to the Abargil syndicate.”


פרסום ראשון: 08.26.08, 16:56
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