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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Israeli convicted of murder arrested in Thailand 11 years after escape from prison

Israeli and Thai police found Ben David Levy, 41, in Bangkok living with his Thai wife and two children; he fled Israel in 2000, seven years after he was convicted of robbery and double murder.

An Israeli man convicted of robbery and a double murder was arrested in Thailand on Tuesday, 11 years after he disappeared from Israeli prison.

Levy Ben-David, 41, was convicted in Israel in 1993 of robbing a jewelry shop and killing the two owners, Danielle and Jacob Himler in Antwerp, Belgium.

Following the murders in 1992, Ben-David fled to Israel with his partners, Israeli citizen Guy Gogeshvili and Belgian citizen Lilian Shterer. The three were subsequently arrested and tried in Israel.

Ben-David was sentenced to two life sentences. He served seven years of his sentence, and in September 2000, during a short vacation from prison, he fled to Thailand, apparently using a fake passport.

He was arrested on Tuesday in an apartment room in Bangkok's Din Daeng district following a joint investigation by Thai police and Asian Pacific Region's Israeli police.

Thai daily The Nation reported that Ben-David had apparently used a fake passport of Maldives nationality under the name of Dmitry Milev to enter Thailand at the time.

Ben-David has since married a Thai woman and has two children.

The Israeli Embassy in Thailand was also involved in the arrest. Ben-David is expected to be extradited back to Israel shortly.

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