By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Two convicted Israeli mobsters, Golan Avitan and Moshe (Chico) Beit Adah, will soon be extradited from Morocco to Israel, Mako reported Sunday.
The announcement comes after senior Moroccan police officials secretly visited Israel to coordinate strategy with Israeli law enforcement.
Because Morocco and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, the extradition will be carried out via a third country, thought to be Spain.
The two men, who are known members of criminal organizations in Israel, fled to Morocco while awaiting trial on charges ranging from drug sales to accessory to murder.
Israeli state prosecutors charge that Avitan provided explosive materials used in a 2003 bomb attack in Tel Aviv. The attack was intended to assassinate a rival mobster, but the man escaped unharmed and three bystanders were killed.
Avitan, the son of Moroccan immigrants, was able to successfully obtain Moroccan citizenship after absconding to the North African country in 2018.
His wife and children later joined him, and the family lived a quiet life until his arrest in a Casablanca synagogue last year.
Beit Ada, also of Moroccan heritage, similarly obtained Moroccan citizenship in 2018. He served two years in prison and was awaiting trial on a number of serious charges when he fled Israel.
According to Moroccan police, Beit Ada allegedly continued engaging in illegal activities, including counterfeiting, while living in the country.
Israeli officials expect that Avitan and Beit Ada’s Moroccan citizenship will be revoked, an act that would speed up the extradition process.
“These are two dangerous criminals who fled Israel to escape from justice,” a senior Israeli police official told Mako.
“We have good connections with many police around the world, in addition to various security agencies, that help us reach every fugitive Israeli criminal – no matter where they are. They think that we will let them enjoy life and not touch them, but they are mistaken.”