Israeli forces raided criminal locations Tuba Zangaria and Sakhnin on Sunday morning, arresting arson suspects.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
An Arab crime gang that terrorized bus companies in northern Israel and was responsible for the torching of dozens of buses in recent months was captured.
The police announced Sunday that three suspects, residents of the Arab town of Tuba Zangaria, were caught on the way to another arson incident, with materials for setting fires in their vehicle. Following their arrest, another eight suspects were arrested in connection with the series of arsons.
An undercover police operation on Friday night in the north led to the stop of the vehicle and the three suspects. A search of the vehicle uncovered flammable material, ready-made torches, observation and burglary tools, flashlights, fake license plates, gloves, and changes of clothes.
After the interrogation of the three, police forces raided a number of targets in the village of Tuba Zangaria and the city of Sakhnin on Sunday morning, arresting another eight suspects on suspicion of involvement in arson.
The three suspects, in their 20s, are suspected of involvement in the arson incidents at the Tzfat Central Station, in which 18 buses were set on fire, in the city of Kiryat Shmona, and other arson incidents throughout the north in the past month. Their detention has been extended in court until Tuesday.
According to the suspicion, the three acted on behalf of a criminal organization that extorted racketeering fees from businesses under the guise of security companies.
Commander of the Police’s Northern District Shimon Lavi stated that “we are working with all our might and with all the tools at our disposal against the phenomenon of collecting the ‘protection’ fees, from capturing the perpetrators in this case to economic activity against their senders – the heads of criminal organizations.”
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