Israeli alleged drug kingpin set to be deported from Colombia

Local immigration office says it ‘clarified beyond any doubt’ that Sali Brami, reported successor to Assi Ben-Mosh, has ‘harmed the country’s security’

Alleged druglord Sami Brami (R) is detained in Colombia ahead of his extradition to Israel, January 27, 2020 (Screen grab/YouTube)
Alleged druglord Sami Brami (R) is detained in Colombia ahead of his extradition to Israel, January 27, 2020 (Screen grab/YouTube)

An Israeli alleged druglord has been arrested in Colombia and is expected to be extradited back to Israel, according to reports on Saturday.

Sali Brami was arrested in the Tolima region of the Central American nation, around 100 kilometers from the capital Bogota, according to Channel 12, which cited Colombian media reports.

“After a series of investigations and lengthy follow-up on Brami, it has been clarified beyond any doubt that he has harmed the country’s security, in addition to staying illegally for the past three years. For this reason he must be deported from Colombia soon and will not be able to return for the next 10 years,” Henry Corredor of the local immigration office said in a statement, according to Channel 12.

It was unclear how Brami could be deported to Israel while the skies were closed to all incoming travelers due to coronavirus restrictions.

Assi Ben-Mosh (C) is seen at Ben Gurion International Airport upon his arrival in Israel after being deported from Colombia, on November 28, 2017. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Brami was said to be a member of the same narcotics network as alleged crime kingpin Assi Ben-Mosh, and in some reports was named as his successor.

Before he went to Central America, Brami was known to be a low-level criminal in the south of Israel, Channel 12 said.

Colombian authorities deported Ben-Mosh — whom local media called “the Devil of Taganga” — to Israel in 2017 because he was deemed to be a threat to public order due to his alleged narcotics and human trafficking activities. Ben-Mosh and his partners were suspected of drug dealing, forcing minors into prostitution, and tax evasion, Hebrew media reported. Ben-Mosh had tried unsuccessfully to prevent his deportation from Columbia, including by applying to become a resident.

He was arrested in Portugal in 2019 over suspected involvement in the murder of an Israeli competitor in Colombia, but later released after a judge said Colombian prosecutors had failed to formally ask for his extradition during the maximum amount of time that Portuguese authorities were legally allowed to hold him.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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