Police: Alperon Crime Gang Uses Young Family Members to 'Sow Fear'

The job of some younger members of the Alperon crime ring is "to sow fear, and they know how to do it very well," a source in the Tel Aviv District Police's central unit said yesterday against the backdrop of the arrest of a male juvenile from the Alperon family who allegedly collected debts through intimidation.

"It's not as if they have to do anything in actuality," the source said. "It's enough for this juvenile to speak in a certain tone of voice, using certain language. He wouldn't need more than that, in combination with a mention of his name, for debtors to feel threatened, and then they pay up."

Police investigators from the juvenile crime division said the Alperon juvenile is suspected of dozens of acts of extortion through intimidation and force, of the kind usually associated with an experienced criminal.

"If he discovered that a certain person could be extorted, he would 'milk' him and not stop," said police superintendent Eyal Pe'er. "In one instance, the juvenile advised someone who owed money to another criminal that the debt had been transferred to him, but the other criminal was not ready to give it up, so the [debtor] had to pay twice."

Though the late reputed crime boss Yaakov Alperon's brothers have not been formally implicated in the juvenile's case, police sources yesterday alleged that they are involved, mainly in providing direction to the juvenile and in providing him with "professional and legal advice."