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5 Chinese workers indicted for kidnapping Tel Aviv employer’s wife in wage dispute

Defendants are suspected of assaulting and threatening woman to extort unpaid salaries from her husband

Police patrol on the Tel Aviv beach boardwalk on March 25, 2020. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Illustrative: Police patrol in Tel Aviv, March 25, 2020. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Five Chinese construction workers were indicted Sunday for allegedly kidnapping their employer’s wife to extort from him unpaid wages.

Prosecutors filed indictments at the Tel Aviv District Court for conspiracy to commit a crime, kidnapping for extortion, extortion by force, extortion by threats and assault in aggravated circumstances while causing injury.

According to court documents, the workers claim they are owed a total of NIS 210,000 ($62,842) in wages from two Israeli construction companies that employed them for various projects in 2021 and 2022.

Despite repeated requests for payments, the two employers did not hand over the money and instead passed responsibility for the wages from one to the other.

In April, the wife of one of the contractors arrived at her Tel Aviv apartment and was accosted by one of the workers who demanded to be paid.

The woman ran into the apartment, hid in the bathroom and called her husband and a friend.

Prosecutors said the assailant left the apartment, but returned with the other defendants, who attacked the woman.

They allegedly choked her with an electrical cord, pulled her hair, punched her and threatened to kill her and her son if she did not arrange for them to meet her husband and be paid.

The suspected attackers then forced her into a vehicle and drove to an area near Palmachim beach in central Israel, where they threatened her with a knife.

Some of the defendants then returned to Tel Aviv for what they believed was a meeting with her husband, but were arrested by police. One of the detainees led officers to where the woman was being held.

Prosecutors asked that the defendants be held until the end of proceedings.

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