A Ra’anana man is suspected of obtaining hundreds of thousands of shekels from a security consultant after posing as a Mossad agent.
Police arrested the suspect on Wednesday, finding three plastic pistols in his home, but not the money he allegedly received. The suspect collapsed in court on Thursday, where his custody was extended by a day, and taken to hospital for treatment.
The suspect passed himself off to the owner of one of Israel’s largest security companies as a former Mossad agent who now owned a security consultancy and was conducting clandestine deals for the state.
The company owner, who complained to the police, said the suspect told him his company worked with both the Mossad and Shin Bet, and that during his Mossad days he made contacts with various agents around the world.
He also said he was close to Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen and that the two carry out projects together that even senior Shin Bet officials were not privy to.
The suspect and complainant agreed on several joint deals. In one case the suspect allegedly asked the complainant to reserve rooms in luxury hotels and rent luxury cars for a group of senior European diplomats who were coming to Israel. The security firm owner spent tens of thousands of shekels on room reservations and car rentals, but the alleged diplomats never materialized.
A few weeks later the suspect told the complainant that the Shin Bet chief had asked him to arrange a trip for senior Mossad and Shin Bet agents in Arab countries. He said Cohen asked him to keep the matter secret and to pay for the trip in cash, without receipts that could leave a paper trail.
When the complainant suspected foul play, the suspect faked a call to Cohen on the phone, which persuaded him to go ahead with the deal.
The suspect later text-messaged the complainant in Cohen’s name, confirming the deals made by the suspect. The complainant was convinced and gave the suspect the money.
The complainant gave the suspect another considerable sum of money for hosting foreign Arab intelligence officials allegedly on a covert visit in Israel.
At this point the complainant realized he had fallen victim to a scam, among other reasons because he had not made a profit on any of the deals yet.
His attempts to contact the suspect failed and he filed a complaint with the police fraud squad.
The police told him after a brief inquiry that the suspect was a serial confidence man whom they had been after for more than a year.