The Be'er Sheva criminal underworld was rocked on Thursday by a series of arrests that saw 32 people brought into custody, including leading crime figure Haggai Zagori and senior members of the Rico Shirazi crime ring.
The suspects are being charged with murder, attempted murder and money laundering worth millions of shekels.
The uncovering of the crime ring, the culmination of a joint effort by Negev police and the International Crimes Investigations Unit, was made possible by a known criminal acting as an undercover informant after agreeing to a deal making him a state's witness.
Police said that the state's witness was one of the closest people to the crime lord, Rico Shirazi, and to Zagori's crime ring.
Zagori's organization is also suspected of masterminding the murder of former Hapoel Be'er Sheva soccer player, Eli Ozen, who allegedly owed money.
The crime ring is also alleged to have links with illegal gambling in Be'er Sheva, which supposedly earned them millions of shekels used to finance a money laundering scheme.
"We are dealing with many allegations against my client," Zgori's attorney told the press, "but most of them seem to be unfounded."
"Ever since Zagori was released from prison he has lived a normal life with his wife," Attorney Avi Himi added.
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