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Interpol SA arrests Israeli fugitive wanted for several attempted murders

This picture taken on November 23, 2021, shows the logo of Interpol during ...   -  
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OZAN KOSE/AFP or licensors

South Africa

South African police have announced the arrest of an Israeli suspected of belonging to a mafia gang and wanted for attempted homicide.

The 46-year-old man is associated with a major crime organization called Abergil, named after brothers Meir and Yitzhak Abergil who were extradited more than a decade ago to the United States, and had been the subject of an Interpol red notice since 2015, the police said in a statement on Thursday.

"Israel's most wanted man," according to South African police, was arrested in the early hours of the morning along with seven other suspects in a house in Bryanston, an affluent suburb north of Johannesburg.

Photos and videos of the arrest, shared by the police, have circulated widely on social networks, showing stocky men in shorts or pajamas, sitting on the floor hiding their faces or lying on their stomachs, their hands shackled with plastic handcuffs.

According to information from their Israeli counterparts, the South African police say the main suspect belongs to "a notorious gang involved in drug trafficking, extortion, and other criminal activities.

In 2003 and 2004, he "allegedly placed a bomb under a man's car in Israel on two occasions. As a result of the first explosion, five people were seriously injured, but all miraculously survived," the statement said. 

In the second incident, again targeting the same person, this time he placed a bomb on the roof of a vehicle, leaving three people seriously injured.

Authorities said walls 4 meters (13 feet) high surrounded the house. Among the items seized were 19 firearms, including five assault rifles and seven pistols, six motorcycles - three of them reported as stolen, a signal jamming device, four drones fitted with cameras, and eight motor vehicles.

One of the vehicles was a delivery truck that had been adapted for use by a sniper and had heavy sound insulation and a chair bolted to the floor that was designed to be used for torture, the police statement said.

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