Police on Monday raided an alleged crime ring from Taibeh, arresting 17 people suspected of being senior operatives in the organization and seizing property worth tens of millions of shekels, including houses, luxury cars, trucks, bank accounts and even horses.
Police also raided the Taibeh municipality, which they suspect has become a source of income for the Abdel Khader gang.
One of the group's main claims to fame is the bloody war it has waged with the rival Hariri crime ring, which is active in the Tel Aviv area. This war has resulted in dozens of brutal murders. But over the last two years, police said, the organization has been seeking to expand beyond the Galilee's Triangle region into the center of the country. For this purpose, it forged alliances with several Jewish crime rings.
Police said the Abdel Khader group is involved in almost every branch of organized crime: murder, the protection racket, tax crimes, illegal weapons and money laundering.
Monday's raid followed a two-year undercover investigation conducted jointly by the police's Lahav 433 unit, the Israel Tax Authority and several government ministries. The raid itself involved dozens of policemen, border policemen and tax authority agents.
The Taibeh municipality was raided because during their probe, police found evidence that the Abdel Khader ring had taken over a lot of city business, winning major contracts that no one dared oppose. For instance, police said, the group apparently controled the city's trash collection business.