Mexican authorities on Friday arrested a man suspected of involvement in the recent killing of an Israeli mobster and his associate by a drug cartel.
Mauricio Hiram, 23, was arrested in Zapopan, a city in the state of Jalisco, and then transferred to a jail in Mexico City.
Hiram has a criminal record and was previously imprisoned for robbery.
According to local reports, police said Hiram was in the Mexico City restaurant when Ben Suthi and Alon Azoulay were shot dead there in July.
Este viernes, Mauricio Hiram "S", "El Mawicho", uno de los presuntos autores materiales del asesinato de dos israelíes en la balacera de Plaza Artz Pedregal en julio pasado, fue ingresado al reclusorio Oriente. as pic.twitter.com/BP4SojNCDc
— 88.9 Noticias (@889Noticias) September 7, 2019
Suthi was a notorious figure in Israel’s underworld, with a criminal career dating back to gang wars in the 1990s.
He reportedly relocated to Mexico a few weeks before he was killed. He is believed to have a child in the country, conceived during his last stint there after he fled Israel in 2001 while on furlough from prison, where he was serving time for murder.
After being extradited back to Israel in 2004 to finish his sentence, Suthi was released from Israeli prison this past February. He was still regarded as one of the main enemies of Israel’s Mosli crime organization.
Mexican officials have said that the shooting, which included a diversionary attack with an assault rifle against police outside the mall, was likely linked to drug cartels and money laundering.
Shortly after the shooting, Esperanza Gutierrez Rojano, one of the suspected shooters, was arrested. Mexico’s chief prosecutor said she received 25,000 pesos ($1,300) for the act and was given exact instructions by phone on how to commit the murder.
Mexican authorities have said they are also looking for a woman known by the alias “La Guera,” who is believed to have been used to seduce Suthi and Azoulay by the drug cartel suspected of ordering the hit on them.
Reports in Mexico said the woman invited the Israelis to the restaurant where they were shot in an upscale shopping mall in the Mexican capital, reserving a table using a fake name.
“La Guera” is believed to be a woman seen in security footage at the restaurant with Suthi and Azoulay when they were shot. She appears to be wearing a blonde wig in the video. Reports after the shooting said the wig had been ditched at the scene.
In the footage, the woman at the table can be seen getting up as the two shooters open fire at Suthi and Azoulay. Authorities believe she fled the restaurant through the kitchen and is now on the run.