Dutch Police Arrest Suspect Related to Attack at Prague Casino

PRAGUE -- The Dutch police have arrested the man who had probably ordered the bomb attack at a casino in the centre of Prague in August, the internet server Novinky.cz has reported, referring to Friday's issue of the daily The Jerusalem Post.

The suspect is reportedly Itzik Abergil, one of the most influential bosses of the Israeli underworld.

The bomb attack, in which 18 people were injured, targeted Assaf Abutboul, the casino owner, who escaped unharmed.

Abergil and Abutboul are members of adversary clans, according to the Israeli press.

Abergil and his seven bodyguards were detained by the police in Amsterdam on Wednesday - officially on suspicion of smuggling drugs from Belgium to the Netherlands - when they were about to embark a plane bound for Israel, Novinky.cz writes.

The arrest was preceded by a two-month extensive operation involving the Dutch and Israeli police and also the Interpol.

Reacting to the detention on Israeli military radio on Thursday evening, Abergil's defence lawyer Sharon Nahari reportedly said that the police are doing everything and even apply unacceptable methods in order to arrest his client.

Nahari resolutely denied the possibility of Abergil trading in drugs.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Itzik Abergil took over his family's activities after his father was murdered several years ago. His brother Meir is serving a prison sentence in Germany for trade in cocaine. Another brother of his has been sentenced to four years in prison, also over drugs, in Israel.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Abergil is also suspected of money laundering and robberies.

The interests of the Abergils and the Abutbouls have been clashing in the field of gambling business for many years now, investigators say. The shooting death of Assaf's father, Felix Abutboul, in downtown Prague two years ago is viewed as part of this battle.

The Abutbouls are considered leaders of the underworld in Israel's tourist area Netanya.

According to the press, Assaf Abutboul left Prague shortly after the August bomb attack on him and ended his activities in the Czech Republic.

He is now building a luxurious gambling centre in Egypt, near the Israeli border, as casinos are banned in Israel, writes Haaretz.