Police can't pin top gangsters for cocaine smuggling

By Terrapinzflyer · Oct 7, 2009 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Police can't pin top gangsters for cocaine smuggling

    Alleged crime kingpin Amir Mulner was released yesterday without charge in the so-called "North Star" case, in which police foiled the smuggling of 108 kilograms of cocaine from Panama to Israel and arrested 19 leading Israeli mobsters.

    But while police had hoped to nail Mulner as well, they said this does nothing to diminish the case's success, as the other 18 will soon be indicted for drug trafficking (probably this Friday), and in some cases, for murder as well.

    "If seizing more than 100 kilos of cocaine and indicting 18 people who are among Israel's leading crime figures is a mountain that turned into a molehill, I'm willing to make do from now on solely with 'molehills' like this," said Commander Avi Neuman, who heads the Central District's Central Unit.

    Those slated for indictment include Uri Luzon and Guy Weberman, both senior figures in Mulner's organization, and Adul Karajeh, who heads his own organization. "We believe these criminals will go to jail for many years," one Central Unit officer said.

    The state witness who broke the North Star case also revealed information about a triple murder in Tiberias in 2001, allegedly ordered by mobster Ze'ev Rosenstein, plus another murder and attempted murder.

    While police are still investigating these cases, the Central Unit officer said it should be possible to indict some of those detained in the North Star case for these crimes as well.

    However, he said, Rosenstein looks likely to go free, since, as with Mulner, there is as yet no other evidence to support the state witness's allegations against him.

    "But indicting a list of some of the state's leading criminals for drugs that were seized and involvement in murder is nothing to sneeze at," the officer added. "This has great significance even without indictments against the very top."

    By Yuval Goren


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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Jailed Israeli drug trafficker remanded over 2001 triple murder

    Israeli crime boss Ze'ev Rosenstein, who is currently serving 12 years in jail for trafficking Ecstasy pills to the United States, was arrested in prison on Tuesday for allegedly orchestrating a 2001 triple murder in Tiberias.

    A Ramle court has extended his remand by another six days.

    Israel Police's central unit last October arrested a number of underworld figures, including Amir Mulner, chief suspect in the international "North Star" drug smuggling network that recently attempted to smuggle 108 kilograms of cocaine from Panama to Israel.

    Rosenstein pleaded guilty in 2007 to conspiring to smuggle 700,000 Ecstasy pills from Europe into the United States. He was extradited from the U.S. to serve his sentence in Israel.

    He was also convicted of hiring Colombian mercenaries to target members of the Alperon family, also considered crime kingpins. For that, Rosenstein was be sentenced to three years in prison, to be served concurrently with his 12-year term.

    By Yaniv Kubovitch, Haaretz Correspondent
    Last update - 12:26 12/01/2010

    there is also a related story here: Crime leaders arrested in cocaine smuggling sting
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