TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — Mexican authorities arrested a frontrunner of an extremist ultra-orthodox Jewish sect in southern Mexico accused of organized crime and human trafficking, state and federal officers stated Tuesday.
Officers additionally stated an unspecified variety of girls and youngsters had been faraway from the Lev Tahor group’s compound.
The organized crime workplace of the Lawyer Common’s Workplace led the weekend operation within the municipality of Tapachula close to Mexico’s border with Guatemala, stated a federal official who insisted on talking anonymously as a result of they weren’t licensed to talk publicly in regards to the case.
A state legislation enforcement official, who additionally was not licensed to talk publicly in regards to the case, recognized the arrested chief as Menachem Endel Alter of Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, Moshe Alter, Endel Alter’s brother, delivered meals to about two dozen girls and youngsters held at a authorities shelter. He stated authorities had additionally taken away a 3-month-old child whose mom was now within the shelter. He stated he didn’t know the place the child was taken.
On the shelter gate, ladies and younger girls carrying lengthy, flowing white hooded robes shouted at officers and banged on the perimeter wall to protest the detentions.
“They’re illegally detained,” stated Nissan Malka, one of many protesters.
Moshe Alter stated one other man from the neighborhood was additionally arrested over the weekend, however authorities didn’t affirm the second arrest. Members of the neighborhood recognized him as Moshe Joseph Rosner.
Moshe Alter stated the difficulty stems from what he referred to as a political-religious battle with former members of Lev Tahor who’re making an attempt to dismantle it.
Lev Tahor has had authorized issues elsewhere.
Final November, two leaders of the group had been convicted of kidnapping and youngster sexual exploitation crimes in New York. They allgedly kidnapped two youngsters from their mom to return a 14-year-old lady to an unlawful sexual relationship with an grownup male.
The sect is thought to have members in Canada, the US, Mexico, Guatemala and Israel.
The occasions performed out over the Jewish new yr Rosh Hashanah, which concludes Tuesday at sunset.
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