Did Israelis assist the refugee kidnapping ring?

Publication Date:
21 January 2010
Asia, Australia, and Africa, Refugees and Displacement, Migration, Corruption, Legal and Judicial Affairs

African migrants making their way along the arduous smuggling route to Israel have been kidnapped by a criminal gang operating in the Sinai Peninsula, held in prison camps, tortured, and released only after ransom money was obtained from family members in Israel, police said on Thursday following the lifting of a media ban.

At times, the cries of pain from tortured captives were transmitted down a phone line to their horrified family members in Israel, according to police.

Two Eritrean citizens were indicted at a Jerusalem District Court on Thursday for acting as ransom collectors on behalf of the gang in Sinai, which was made up of Beduin tribesmen and Eritrean nationals.

The suspects, Nabsi Habati, 34, and Fatawi Aziabhir, 41, residents of Jerusalem, were arrested last week by police along with additional suspected accomplices, and ha


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