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Israeli us ecstasy ring { April 1 2003 }

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   http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/crime/nyc-nydrug013201034apr01,0,1921289.story?coll=nyc-manheadlines-crime

http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/crime/nyc-nydrug013201034apr01,0,1921289.story?coll=nyc-manheadlines-crime

Feds Bust Israeli-U.S. Money Laundering Ring
By Anthony M. DeStefano
STAFF WRITER

April 1, 2003

Federal investigators said yesterday they broke up a ring of U.S. and Israeli nationals suspected of laundering millions of dollars in proceeds from trafficking in the drug Ecstasy.

A total of 17 people, as well as one Florida company, face charges in the probe, which involved coordination between federal and Israeli law enforcement agencies in the last year.

Among those arrested was Natan Banda, the alleged ringleader of the money-laundering network, which federal agents believe has systematically handled tens of millions of dollars in narcotics proceeds. Banda has U.S. and Israeli citizenship and maintains homes in Williamsburg and upstate Monroe, according to the affidavit for the arrest warrant unsealed yesterday.

Others charged include the brothers Zakay and Ezra Sasson, identified in the affidavit as being residents of Florida and citizens of the United States, Venezuela and Israel. The Sasson brothers are listed as officers of National Electronics, Inc., a Florida company that sells consumer electronics in Central and South America, according to the affidavit. Federal investigators allege that the Sasson brothers arranged to launder millions of dollars for Banda.

The arrest warrant affidavits alleged that money shipments totaling millions of dollars were made between Europe, Los Angeles and New York.

Arraignments were under way late yesterday and bail packages were still being worked out with relatives and friends of some of the defendants.
Copyright 2003, Newsday, Inc.



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