150 criminals facing extradition from Turkey to Israel

Numerous wanted Israeli criminals have fled to Turkey in recent years in order to avoid being prosecuted in Israeli courts.

By World Israel News Staff

On the heels of an announcement that Israel and Turkey have restored full diplomatic relations with each other, the Israeli police are gearing up to ask Istanbul to extradite some 150 wanted criminals back to the Jewish State.

According to a report from Hebrew-language Mako News, numerous wanted Israeli criminals have fled to Turkey in recent years in order to avoid being prosecuted in Israeli courts.

The majority of the wanted men are Israeli Arabs, although a number of Jewish Israelis have also sought refuge from the law in Turkey.

The organized crime-affiliated men typically are involved in money laundering, cryptocurrency and sports betting websites, and black market loans in Turkey.

Some run legitimate businesses, such as clothing stores and local real estate ventures.

“We are in good relations with the law enforcement authorities in Turkey. We will demand that those criminals be deported or extradited. We know where most of them are hiding,” a senior police source told Mako News.

“We have arrested dozens of Israeli criminals [hiding abroad] in recent years, in many parts of the world, and prosecuted them. There is no reason why this should not happen in Turkey.”

Among the men Israeli authorities are seeking to extradite are notorious drug and weapons traffickers. Many of them have already been convicted in Israeli courts and fled the country before being formally sentenced.

Last week, Israel’s highest police authority, Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, reportedly reached a deal with Moroccan police to boost intelligence-sharing and extradition efforts between the two countries.

Over the last decade, Morocco has emerged as a popular destination for Israeli lawbreakers.

An Israeli man suspected to have planned the fatal car bombing of a figure from a rival criminal gang was arrested in Morocco in April 2022, after hiding out in the country for nearly nine years.

Although the North African nation and the Jewish State did not have formal diplomatic relations before the 2020 Abraham Accords, Israelis were permitted to visit Morocco.

Over one million Israeli Jews have roots in Morocco, and the country has a Jewish population estimated at some 3,000 people.