JERUSALEM (Aug. 21)
Israeli police have contacted recently several foreign police services for information on Israeli underworld figures sentenced in those countries during the last seven years. The Israeli information request came at the initiative of the special commission appointed earlier this month by Police Inspector General Haim Tavori to investigate organized crime in Israel.
The request was forwarded through Interpol to several police services both in Europe and the U.S. It was apparently made as part of the commission’s effort to draw a profile of the scope of organized crime in Israel and its overseas connections.
A separate investigation, conducted by a senior police officer, is looking into allegations that a senior police officer served as a double agent, supplying organized crime in Israel with highly secret information from police headquarters. The allegations were made in one of the articles carried almost daily by Haaretz on organized crime in Israel.
In another development connected with organized crime, building contractor Bezalel Mizrahi filed a libel suit for IL 10 million in a Tel Aviv court against Haaretz, its editor Gershom Schocken and reporter Avi Valentin, for allegedly slandering him by publishing articles claiming that he was one of the leaders of organized crime in Israel. This is the largest libel suit ever filed in Israel.