Three Israeli Crime Bosses Charged With Murder, Other Crimes

Police say mob bosses Shalom Domrani, Amos Lavi and Yossi Edri have been cooperating to take over the crime activity in the south and fight against a rival organization.

Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Three southern crime kingpins and 17 members of crime organizations were indicted Thursday for murder, attempted murder, and other crimes.

Police say mob bosses Shalom Domrani, Amos Lavi and Yossi Edri have been cooperating recently to take over the crime activity in the south and fight against a rival organization headed by Benny Shlomo.

Domrani, of Ashkelon, is charged with two attempts to murder members of Shlomo’s organization and with supplying weapons and conspiring to commit a crime. Lavi, who operates in Rehovot, is charged with supplying weapons to assassins, whom he tasked with throwing a grenade at the home of a rival group member.

Edri, of Ashdod, is charged with murder, after allegedly ordering the murder of a member of Shlomo’s organization last November. The targeted criminal was killed by a bomb attached to his car in Ashdod. Two passengers, also alleged criminals, remained unharmed and the police say the mob boss later ordered their assassination.

Nine other suspects involved in these cases are to be indicted today.

The investigation, which culminated with the arrest of some 30 suspects, was covert for the best part of three months. One of the suspects, who had been sent to murder one of the two men who were unharmed in the car bombing in Ashdod, offered instead to help the police and became state’s witness, police said Thursday.

At this stage the investigation became overt and focused on stablishing evidence against the suspects of at least 15 cases of attempted murder, attacks on people and providing arms. Two lawyers, who represent some of the defendants, were also arrested on suspicion of obstructing the investigation and conspiring to commit a crime.

One of the lawyers, a family relative of Edri’s, was under police protection for about a month after Edri, who was in prison at the time, gave instructions to attack or kill her. She remained under police protection until she was arrested herself.

From mid-July to the end of September the Lachish Police have foiled six attempted murders among crime organization members in Ashdod, the police said. The suspects in these incidents were indicted earlier this month.

Southern District Commander Yoram Halevy said “this is a signal to crime organizations that things have turned around. We’ll reduce their freedom of action to a minimum.”

Domrani’s lawyers, Roy Attias and Lia Pilus said the indictment was “scandalous and served contrary to the Justice Ministry’s instructions.”