A woman who shot and killed two Israeli gangland bosses at a Chinese restaurant in Mexico City was an assassin settling scores in the Israeli mafia, prosecutors say.
Wearing a blond wig, the woman entered the restaurant with an accomplice and took a seat near Benjamin Yeshurun Sutchi, aka ‘Johny Ben,’ and Alon Azulay in a Mexican shopping mall on Wednesday, before getting up and shooting them.
The woman and two male accomplices fled the scene, but police apprehended her after she dumped her wig and other elements of disguise in the street. The two accomplices, both armed with assault rifles, got away after firing on a police vehicle, hitting an officer in the arm.
In custody, she told Mexican police that it had been a crime of passion and that she had been jilted by one of the two gangsters, but prosecutors have now established that she did not know either man. Both had criminal records in Israel and Mexico.
“The event leads us to relate the facts with a settling of scores among criminal groups and/or organised crime,” said Ulíses Lara López from the city prosecutor’s office, adding that both men were well-known in the criminal underworld.
“It could be a settling of scores in the Israeli mafia, which is why a complete identification [of the victims] was possible, along with their criminal records.”
Sutchi was arrested in Mexico in 2005 in a joint operation involving Mexican and Israeli intelligence officers, before being transferred to Israeli custody in a Mexican airport hangar and returned to Israel the next day. He was released from prison last year.
Mexican media at the time reported that he was a major player in the international cocaine business, was wanted by Interpol at the time of his arrest, and was found “in the company of his sex slave” when officers swooped.
In the late 1990s Jewish Link, a journal for Jews in Mexico, reported that Sutchi had been convicted in Israel of the assassination of Many Aslan, son of Israeli gangland boss Ezequiel Aslan, and sentenced to 17 years. He later escaped prison and fled to Mexico in 2001 and in 2004 he was arrested in Venezuela over the killing of a Colombian drug lord.
Mexico’s attorney general said that between 2001 and 2005 Sutchi built a criminal empire based on drug trafficking, kidnappings and casinos, working with Mexico’s own mafia. In the raid, police found photos showing Sutchi together with his friend Edgar Valdez Villareal, aka ‘La Barbie’ (the Barbie), boss of the feared Beltran Leyva Cartel in Sinaloa.
At the time, Valdez was moving about a ton of cocaine into the United States every month. In 2009 the US offered $2 million for information leading to his arrest, which occurred the following year. He is currently serving a 49 year sentence in a US prison.
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