Mother Says She Didn't Help Alperon Scion Leave Israel

Yesterday was the Alperon family's day. In the morning there were reports that Dror - the eldest son of reputed mob kingpin Yaakov Alperon - had gone abroad or, according to media reports, had been smuggled out of Israel by his mother Ahuva.

In the afternoon the remand was extended for another son of the reputed mob family, Elad, by six days, and for a minor linked to the family by a week.

The two are suspected of involvement in an online casino, which defrauded young Web surfers, leading to heavy losses, and then threatened them when they could not pay up.

The minor is suspected of the more serious charge of using force for extortion.

Yisrael Hayom newspaper and Israel Radio reported yesterday that Dror had fled to an unidentified country.

In August, he finished serving his 10-month sentence for extortion through threats. Tel Aviv police said yesterday there was nothing preventing Alperon from leaving the country after completing his prison sentence.

But the Yisrael Hayom report quoted Alperon's mother Ahuva as saying the police was waging a witch hunt against her family, and that she was therefore forced to smuggle her son out of Israel.

But in a morning interview with Israel Radio, Ahuva Alperon attacked journalist Hadas Shteif for her report.

She claiming that her son has no need to flee, but rather left for a brief vacation with his girlfriend after paying his debt to society.

Police also said yesterday they had installed 30 listening devices to monitor conversations between Elad Alperon and the minor suspected of involvement in the casino affair.

The minor's attorney, Nir David, said: "The police have climbed too high, and I hope that in the next hearing, they pull themselves together."