17 Teens Suspected of Running After-school Gambling Operation

Police launch investigation following tip on the teens' large debts, apparently incurred during poker games.

Police have detained 17 Herzliya teens, aged 14 to 17, in recent weeks to investigate their recent after school meetings, where they had allegedly gambled with hundreds, possibly thousands of shekels.

Glilot based police launched the investigation after having received information regarding thousands of shekels apparently owed by several of the teens. Police believe the debts were incurred during poker games and other games.

As a result, several of the teens were forced to work in odd jobs in order to repay their debt. Some of them took money from their parents, who were unaware of their activities.

"Each of the teens involved took part in a number of group games. In several cases the game took place on school grounds after hours, and we suspect students from several high-schools and junior high-schools were involved in the activity," said Youth Inspector Meir Rotman.

"Past experience indicates that many such cases turn into extortion felonies, threats, and we are also familiar with cases of stabbings that happened on similar grounds. We have detained everyone involved in this case, apparently just before things got worse," stated Rotman.

Police marked warnings on all the youths' criminal records for participating in illegal gambling games. Several of the youths, however, were also charged with running the operation.

Following the investigation the youths were released under restraining orders.