Popular rabbi arrested for ties to mafia boss at Ben Gurion Airport moments before fleeing to China

Your Jewish News – by Ryan Lee Hall

A senior Sephardic rabbi was arrested and will be charged with election fraud after he allegedly threatened opponents of a candidate he and a mafia boss supported, according to police reports in Israel.

The rabbi was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport moments before fleeing to China.

The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Sunday, remanded Rabbi Yoram Abergel of Netivot into custody after being accused of extortion linked to crime boss Shalom Domrani, who was arrested on Saturday night.  

Abergel is suspected of extortion and obstructing an election. Police said that during the latest municipal elections in Netivot, Abergel and fellow accomplices extorted several campaign aides working for mayoral candidate Eyal Messika.

Domrani and several of his men were arrested on Saturday night, for allegedly threatening rabbis, including Rabbi Yaakov Ifergan for supporting mayoral candidate Eyal Messika against longtime Mayor Yehiel Zohar.

Police accused Domrani of damaging property, obstructing an election, obstructing the legal process and extortion.


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