WATCH | A 'sniper van', signal jammer and drugs: Inside arrest of Israel's 'most wanted fugitive'

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article



  • Police, who arrested one of Israel's most wanted fugitives, have seized more evidence, including a van believed to be used in hits and for torture.
  • Officers continued to search the Bryanston property hours after eight men were arrested on Thursday.
  • Police believe the men were involved in the import and export of drugs.

Police who arrested Israel's most wanted fugitive on Thursday morning have discovered a van outfitted for torture and assassination, a signal jammer, a drone and drugs at a property in upmarket Bryanston, Johannesburg.

When police broke the news of the arrest earlier in the day, they announced finding a cache of arms and stacks of money, including American dollars.

A multidisciplinary team of specialised police officers pounced on the wanted Israeli mobster and seven others at around 02:00.

The leafy Bryanston neighbourhood woke up to the sound of an armoured vehicle crashing through the gate of the house, which is located on one of the country's most expensive streets, Eccleston Crescent.

"It's been a months-long investigation. Imagine going through those gates knowing there are snipers and things," Major-General Shadrack Sibiya said at the property on Thursday afternoon.

An Israeli fugitive has been arrested during an operation by South African police and Interpol in Johannesburg.
interpol, saps, israeli, fugutive
An Israeli fugitive, described as the country's most wanted gang leader, has been arrested during an operation by the South African Police Service and Interpol in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
interpol, saps, israeli, fugutive
An Israeli fugitive, described as the country's most wanted gang leader, has been arrested during an operation by the South African Police Service and Interpol in Bryanston, Johannesburg.


He spoke to News24 as a forensics team combed the house for evidence.

Among several vehicles in the driveway was a delivery van. Unassuming from the outside, the white vehicle had been transformed, with thick soundproof covering the interior.

There was a cream-coloured table with a chair firmly attached inside. 

Sibiya claimed the van was used to transport a sniper.

He said it was also used for torture.

READ |  Israel's 'most wanted gang leader' arrested in Joburg

A newer delivery vehicle was standing in the car park. It is believed this van was to be transformed next.

A task force member said the team began its operation at 22:00 on Wednesday before it struck in the early morning hours.

"There's nothing good in this house. You go to the couch, and there's a gun on the side, there guns in the bedrooms - an AK-47 upstairs, guns in the garage," said the specialised officer.

An Israeli fugitive, described as the country's “most wanted gang leader”, has been arrested during an operation by South African police and Interpol in Johannesburg.
interpol, saps, israeli, fugutive
An Israeli fugitive, described as the country's most wanted gang leader, has been arrested during an operation by the South African Police Service and Interpol in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
interpol, saps, israeli, fugutive
An Israeli fugitive, described as the country's most wanted gang leader, has been arrested during an operation by the South African Police Service and Interpol in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

Sibiya said the police found a signal jammer, a drone and GPS tracking devices.

Other electronic devices seized included a number of laptops, cellphones - smartphone devices and burner phones - and an iPad.

Police found six motorcycles, three of which were stolen.

Officials believe the bikes may have been used in hits.

Investigators also found US$40 000, an undisclosed amount of Israeli shekels and two money counting machines.


Two members of the police's K9 Unit arrived on the scene in the morning and discovered between two and three kilograms of cocaine. There was also an undisclosed amount of MDMA or ecstasy.

Other finds were 19 firearms, including two AK-24s with double magazines, a mini-Ruger with a silencer, an assault rifle with a silencer, four 9mm Glocks, and two Ruby revolvers. Several silencers were also found, as well as three bullet-proof vests.

An Israeli fugitive, described as the country's most wanted gang leader, has been arrested during an operation by the South African Police Service and Interpol in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
The 46-year-old man is believed to be connected to a criminal syndicate in Israel called the Abergil Organisation, which has been linked to drug trafficking, extortion and other criminal activities.

Eight vehicles were found on the property and police determined one of them had been stolen. Several number plates were also discovered in the house.

Neighbours were shocked when they heard the news.

A young man, who did not want to be identified, said the suspect moved in around three years ago.

A woman, who lives on the street, added she remembered the original property being torn down, and a "grand building" with many rooms went up in its place.


An Israeli fugitive, described as the country's most wanted gang leader, has been arrested during an operation by the South African Police Service and Interpol in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
interpol, saps, israeli, fugutive
An Israeli fugitive, described as the country's most wanted gang leader, has been arrested during an operation by the South African Police Service and Interpol in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

The height of the walls, which stand at four metres, was also doubled during construction.

Sibiya said the highly trained group belonged to a notorious Israeli criminal organisation.

The main suspect has lived in South Africa since 2007.

The group was involved in the moving and dealing of drugs, claimed officials.

The eight men were still at the scene at 15:00 as forensics officers combed the property.



We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
A Section 89 panel headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found President Cyril Ramaphosa has an impeachable case to answer on the Phala Phala scandal.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Ramaphosa should do the honourable thing and immediately resign.
22% - 2239 votes
Ramaphosa should follow due process and submit himself to an impeachment hearing.
30% - 3011 votes
Ramaphosa should fight the findings in court and keep his job at all costs
48% - 4853 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.32
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
21.05
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
18.17
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.57
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.4%
Gold
1,774.38
+0.2%
Silver
22.38
+0.8%
Palladium
1,856.37
+0.3%
Platinum
986.55
-0.5%
Brent Crude
79.35
-4.2%
Top 40
67,670
-1.1%
All Share
73,788
-1.0%
Resource 10
72,614
-1.9%
Industrial 25
90,620
-0.9%
Financial 15
15,646
-0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE