The police are investigating the case of a man who fled abroad, died there and whose body was brought back to Israel and buried under a false identity.
His mother is suspected of fraud — by the Russian authorities.
The man, who is buried in Tel Regev Cemetery near Kfar Hasidim in the north, was suspected of being a member of the Isakov crime family from Haifa’s Krayot suburbs.
He fled Israel in 2004 after he became a suspect in a murder case, entered Russia illegally and died there of natural causes.
His mother wanted to have him buried in Israel, but because he was undocumented in Russia, she used documents belonging to his brother, who lives with her in Israel.
She applied to the Russian consulate in Israel to have a death certificate issued.
The body was released in Russia and arrived in Israel.
The mother then had her son buried under the identity of his living brother, though not under the auspices of the rabbinic council.
Here the brother’s troubles began. Because he was listed as deceased, he could not take money out of the bank, receive care from his health care provider or do other routine tasks. Eventually the mother went to the police to report the switch and get her living son’s identity back.
Earlier this week, after months of investigation, the grave was opened and the police took DNA samples, confirming that the remains were of the man who fled in 2004.
The mother is suspected of fraud by the Russian authorities, not the Israelis. But the Israeli burial contractor is suspected of illegal burial.
He was arrested in March after it was discovered he was storing bodies awaiting burial in a shipping container at a gas station in the Haifa suburb of Nesher, rather than in a hospital morgue.