Israelis bust Hamas extortion ring

Sept. 23, 2012 at 4:12 PM
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JERUSALEM, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Three Israeli men are accused of helping Hamas to kidnap African migrants for extortion, court records said.

Haaretz reported Ya'akov Grad, Eliran Mahfoud and Victor Siboni, all of Netanya, were charged with kidnapping for the sake of murder or extortion by the Jerusalem District Court. The report said the men are suspected of helping to transfer funds to Hamas organizations in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Police said a man living in Sinai contacted migrant workers from Eritrea and told them family members on their way from Egypt to Israel had been kidnapped.

The man would have the family members speak to the migrant workers over the phone and tell them in exchange for their freedom the migrant workers in Israel must give of money to two men at Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station, Haaretz reported.

Also arrested were a Jewish minor and Louis Nasr ad-Din, a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem, accused of transferring the money to Hamas, Haaretz said.

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