Well-Known Haredi Rabbi Busted For Alleged Extortion, Vote Tampering, Association With Organized Crime
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A well-known senior Sefardi haredi rabbi from Netivot, Yoram Abergel, was arrested this morning for alleged extortion and vote tampering as he was reportedly about to board a plane to China.
According to police – who believe Abergel is a member of Shalom Domrani organized crime family – during the last municipal elections, Abergel and accomplices allegedly extorted campaign aides working for mayoral challenger Eyal Messika, Ynet reported.
Abergel heads a Talmud studies network with thousands of students.
This morning, the Rishon Lezion Magistrates' Court extended his remand for four days.
Alleged crime boss Domrani and several of his men were arrested last night for allegedly threatening rabbis – including the well-known “X-Ray Rabbi,” Rabbi Yaakov Ifergan – who supported the challenger Messika against long-time Netivot Mayor Yehiel Zohar, who was supported by Domrani and Abergel.
Zohar won the election.
Domrani is suspected of damaging property, obstructing elections, obstructing legal proceedings and extortion.
Abergel’s arrest reignited the turf war between the rival Sefardi rabbis in Netivot, with Ifergan reportrdly having more national power due to his notoriety while Abergel has more power locally.
However, Ifegan’s associates are denying Ifergan was threatened.
“Rabbis in Netivot welcome everyone, even criminals,” an Ifergan associate reportedly said.
[Hat Tip: Seymour.]