Colombian authorities overnight Sunday put on a flight out of the country an Israeli man who was deported amid allegations that he ran a crime ring that harmed the country’s security.
In footage aired by Colombian media, Assi Ben-Mosh was shown being marched through El Dorado International Airport, Bogata, on his way to catch a flight out of the South American nation.
He had allegedly been running a resort hotel near the northern Colombian town of Santa Marta, where he had set up a drug and sex crime ring. The Hotel Benjamin, at the fishing village of Taganga, was an attraction for many Israelis on post-army travels but was unpopular with local residents due to the activities associated with it. His operations also reached into Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico, local media reported.
He was to be flown to Spain and from there will be travel on to Israel, according to Colombian media.
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Ben-Mosh and his partners were suspected of drug dealing, forcing minors into prostitution and tax evasion, Hebrew media reported over the weekend when the expulsion order against him was issued. Ben-Mosh had tried unsuccessfully to prevent his ejection from Columbia, including by applying to become a resident.
In a statement at the time, local police announced “the deportation of the Israeli citizen who was running a spa hotel that was popular with many foreign tourists,” noting that Ben-Mosh “caused harm to the security of Colombia.”
He will be banned from returning to Columbia for 10 years, local media said.
The El Heraldo daily newspaper quoted Colonel Gustavo Berdugo, commander of the Metropolitan Police of Santa Marta, as saying that with Ben-Mosh’s departure the local population wants to move on to clear Taganga of its tarnished image.
“The population is very concerned, because we want it to be a favored place of tourism, but due to its nature and landscapes, and not because of prostitution and drugs,” he said in Spanish comments he made to the daily.