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Viewing Cable 09TELAVIV1098, ISRAEL, A PROMISED LAND FOR ORGANISED CRIME?

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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:37 AM
Original message
Viewing Cable 09TELAVIV1098, ISRAEL, A PROMISED LAND FOR ORGANISED CRIME?
Edited on Thu Dec-02-10 03:05 AM by Turborama
Viewing cable 09TELAVIV1098, ISRAEL, A PROMISED LAND FOR ORGANISED CRIME?

If you are new to these pages, please read an http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/05/09TELAVIV1098.html#help_1">introduction on the structure of a cable.

http://wikileaks.org/support.html">KEEP US STRONG!

Reference ID --- Created -------- Released -------- Classification ------- Origin
http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/05/09TELAVIV1098.html">09TELAVIV1098 http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/date/2009-05_0.html">2009-05-15 14:02 http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/reldate/2010-12-01_0.html">2010-12-01 21:09 http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/classification/5_0.html">UNCLASSIFIED http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/origin/10_0.html">Embassy Tel Aviv


VZCZCXYZ0018
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1098/01 1351414
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY AD66A605 MSI9229-632)
R 151414Z MAY 09 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1845
INFO RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 2041
RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC//INTD/CTD/CT WATCH//
RHMFIUU/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHDC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC 0068
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 7509


UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001098

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (CORRECTED ADDEE)

DEPT FOR CA/VO/L/C; CA/VO/L/A; CA/FPP SARAH SEXTON; INR/TIPOFF; DS
OFAC
ROME FOR DHS/ICE

CA/FPP: PLEASE PASS TO DOJ LISA HOLTYN AND BRUCE OHR
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: CVIS SNAR CMGT KFRD KCOR KCRM KTIP PINR IS
SUBJECT: ISRAEL, A PROMISED LAND FOR ORGANISED CRIME?

Summary
---------

1. (SBU) Organized crime (OC) has longstanding roots in Israel, but
in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the reach and
impact of OC networks. In seeking a competitive advantage in such
lucrative trades as narcotics and prostitution, Israeli crime groups
have demonstrated their ability and willingness to engage in violent
attacks on each other with little regard for innocent bystanders.
The Israeli National Police (INP) and the courts have engaged in a
vigorous campaign against organized crime leaders, including the
creation of a new specialized anti-OC unit, but they remain unable
to cope with the full scope of the problem. Organized crime in
Israel now has global reach, with direct impact inside the United
States. Post is currently utilizing all available tools to deny
Israeli OC figures access to the United States in order to prevent
them from furthering their criminal activities on U.S. soil.
End
Summary.

=snip=

Israeli Crime Reaches American Shores
--------------------------------------

20. (SBU) Israel's multi-ethnic population provides a deep well of
opportunity for Israeli OC to expand into new territory. Most
Israeli crime families trace their roots to North Africa or Eastern
Europe, and many of their Israeli operatives hold foreign passports
allowing them to move freely in European countries, most of which
participate in the visa waiver program with the United States.
Approximately one million Russians moved to Israel following the
dissolution of the Soviet Union, and Russian citizens no longer
require visas to enter Israel. Many Russian oligarchs of Jewish
origin and Jewish members of OC groups have received Israeli
citizenship, or at least maintain residences in the country. Little
is known about the full extent of Russian criminal activity in
Israel, but sources in the police estimate that Russian OC has
laundered as much as USD 10 billion through Israeli holdings. While
most Israeli OC families are native-born and the stereotype that
Russian immigrants tend to be mobsters is greatly overblown,
indigenous OC groups routinely employ "muscle" from the former
Soviet Union.

21. (SBU) The profit motive serves as a great unifier among
Israel's diverse demographic groups. According to xxxxx, some
Amsterdam-based Hasidic groups allegedly are implicated in
international drug smuggling through links to Israeli OC. Arab and
Jewish Israeli criminals routinely cooperate and form alliances to
expand control of lucrative drug, car theft and extortion rackets.
Even hostile and closed borders pose few obstacles to OC groups.
According to the INP, 43% of intercepted heroin in 2008 was smuggled
from Lebanon, 37% from Jordan, and 12% from Egypt.

Israeli OC Operating Freely in United States
---------------------------------------------

22. (SBU) Given the volume of travel and trade between the United
States and Israel, it is not surprising that Israeli OC has also
gained a foothold in America. Over the last decade, media reports
have detailed a number of high-profile cases involving Israeli OC,
ranging from large-scale drug deals to murder. The ongoing Central
District of California grand jury investigation against the Abergil
family, where a RICO conspiracy case was initiated in December 2007,
best demonstrates the full extent of such criminal activity.
Investigators have linked Yitzhak Abergil and his entire network to
crimes of "embezzlement, extortion, kidnapping, and money
laundering." Yitzhak Abergil is currently under arrest in Israel
and facing extradition for related charges linking him to the murder
of Israeli drug dealer Samy Attias on U.S. soil.

23. (SBU) As part of an ongoing effort to track Israeli OC through
media reports and police sources, Post so far has identified 16
families and 78 related individuals who are at the center of Israeli
organized criminal activity. The consular section has revoked
several visas for those who have been convicted of crimes in Israel,
but many OC figures have no prior criminal convictions and carry no
visa ineligibilities. As a result, many hold valid nonimmigrant
visas to the United States and have traveled freely or attempted to
travel for a variety of purposes.

24. (SBU) In March 2009, Post received information from law
enforcement authorities that convicted criminal and member of the
Abergil organization, Mordechai Yair Hasin, along with his pregnant
wife and child, was intending to flee Israel for Los Angeles on
valid tourist visas. Hasin's visa was revoked based on his
conviction, as were his family's visas after they were determined to
be intending immigrants.

25. (SBU) As in the Hasin case, Post is using every available tool
to limit OC travel to the United States, but such efforts are not
always successful. In June 2008, Post issued Adam Abitbul a valid
tourist visa. Abitbul had no prior criminal convictions, and
carried no visa ineligibilities. Several months later, Post
received information from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)
that he had traveled to the United States to carry out a hit.
Abitbul returned to Israel prematurely for his father's funeral, at
which time Post revoked his visa. (Post can only revoke the visas of
Israeli citizens while in country.) In a similar case, in October
2008 Post issued Moshe Bar Muha a tourist visa; he claimed to be
traveling for medical treatment. Post subsequently received
information from the LAPD that Bar Muha is in fact the brother of
Itzik Bar Muha of the Jerusalem Gang (see above) and a convicted
criminal.

26. (SBU) As recently as March 2009, Zvika Ben Shabat, Yaacov
Avitan, and Tzuri Rokah requested visas to attend a
"security-related convention" in Las Vegas. According to local
media reports, all three had involvement with OC. Post asked the
applicants to provide police reports for any criminal records in
Israel, but without such evidence there is no immediate
ineligibility for links to OC. Luckily, all three have so far
failed to return for continued adjudication of their applications.
Nevertheless, it is fair to assume that many known OC figures hold
valid tourist visas to the United States and travel freely.

Comment: Israeli OC Slipping Through the Consular Cracks
--------------------------------------------- ---------

27. (SBU) Given the growing reach and lethal methods of Israeli OC,
blocking the travel of known OC figures to the United States is a
matter of great concern to Post. Through collaboration with Israeli
and U.S. law enforcement authorities, Post has developed an
extensive database and placed lookouts for OC figures and their foot
soldiers. Nevertheless, the above visa cases demonstrate the
challenges that have arisen since the termination of the Visas Shark
in September 2008. Unlike OC groups from the former Soviet Union,
Italy, China, and Central America, application of INA
212(a)(3)(A)(ii) against Israeli OC is not specifically authorized
per Foreign Affairs Manual 40.31 N5.3. As such, Israelis who are
known to work for or belong to OC families are not automatically
ineligible for travel to the United States.



Full cable: http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/05/09TELAVIV1098.html
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. This has been the status quo for nearly two decades, since the collapse of the
Edited on Thu Dec-02-10 03:31 AM by leveymg
Soviet Union and the mass exodus of organized crime families from Russia, the Russkaya Mafiya, a large number of whom emigrated to Israel and Turkey. Many of them ended up in the New York area, particularly areas in Queens and Brooklyn around Brighton Beach.

Nobody should be surprised by this. It goes back to the early 1990s.
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 03:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Sounds like more than that:
20. (SBU) Israel's multi-ethnic population provides a deep well of
opportunity for Israeli OC to expand into new territory. Most
Israeli crime families trace their roots to North Africa or Eastern
Europe, and many of their Israeli operatives hold foreign passports
allowing them to move freely in European countries, most of which
participate in the visa waiver program with the United States.
Approximately one million Russians moved to Israel following the
dissolution of the Soviet Union, and Russian citizens no longer
require visas to enter Israel. Many Russian oligarchs of Jewish
origin and Jewish members of OC groups have received Israeli
citizenship, or at least maintain residences in the country. Little
is known about the full extent of Russian criminal activity in
Israel, but sources in the police estimate that Russian OC has
laundered as much as USD 10 billion through Israeli holdings. While
most Israeli OC families are native-born and the stereotype that
Russian immigrants tend to be mobsters is greatly overblown,
indigenous OC groups routinely employ "muscle" from the former
Soviet Union.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. You mean, you didn't know this was going on?
It's not like this is really a secret, or even something that just emerged from the former Soviet Union. The fact that it isn't just the Russians has been apparent since the days of Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel. Who do you think built Vegas, and has run West Coast organized crime since World War Two?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 03:54 AM
Response to Original message
5. So, what country does not have organized crime?
Certainly, there is more in the US than most Americans are willing to admit. Every country has organized crime. Have you ever watched any French crime movies?
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. It's the last part of the summary that surprised me...
Unlike OC (Organized Crime) groups from the former Soviet Union,
Italy, China, and Central America, application of INA
212(a)(3)(A)(ii) against Israeli OC (Organized Crime) is not specifically authorized
per Foreign Affairs Manual 40.31 N5.3. As such, Israelis who are
known to work for or belong to OC (Organized Crime) families are not automatically
ineligible for travel to the United States.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 06:27 AM
Response to Original message
6. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
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