a different side of Israel

No Respect!

Poor Rikko Shirazi. One can almost feel sorry for him and even compare him to Tony Soprano, that loving “business” man whose family was seen so much on American TV for so many years. Rikko and nine other members of his ‘business association’ were arrested a few days ago after a long underground police investigation in which Rikko and Co., including his No. 1 son, Shai, who has also been involved in a number of ‘family’ activities.

Just a few of Rikko & Co’s many alleged activities include money laundering, extortion (mostly connected to either offering “protection” to local businesses, and in collection of debts on loans made at ridiculously high interest rates), and illegal currency conversions. Shirazi, a long time Netanya resident is well known on the local “business scene” and has been connected with other ‘well known’ people, including Felix and Assi Abotboul. Some may recall that Felix Abotboul, Assi’s uncle, owned a gambling casino in Prague until he was gunned down in front of it a few years back.

Sirazi’s daughter, Shiran, who became known as a singer and fashion model, is connected with a talent and modeling agency that her father owns. She has often been seen sunbathing on beaches in Netanya, and her black BMW sports convertible became a common fixture in the Ramat Poleg neighborhood where the family lived.

When asked about why he and his associates had been detained, Rikko laughed and said that the whole matter was only “an inflated balloon, and that the accusations were like “a lot of hot air”. Inflated balloon, hot air, or not, the Shirazi Co’s legal team will a bit to do to sort out all the legal implications that are arising out of this mess. It only seemed a short while ago that Rikko’s friend Assi was himself arrested on a number of similar actions. As Rikko’s son was engaged to Assi’s daughter, the association of these two colorful families has been even more interesting.

The city of Netanya is well known as the domiciles of these colorful people, and this goes back a long way. Both Rikko and his brother Shlomo once played football on the local Maccabee team, and a number of businesses, including restaurants, pubs, and others have been alleged to be connected to both the Shirazi and Abotboul families.

Close family ties appear to be very important to this kind of folk, as well as having the respect of the community in which they live. They have been in and out of incarceration, going all the way to the ’80s. Despite these momentary setbacks, Both Shirazi and Abotboul have managed to build up sizable fortunes, as well as associate with both well known entertainment personalities and even political figures.

This most recent set back will not cease Nikko Shirazi’s business endeavors, anymore than Tony Soprano’s on HBO TV. He will most likely find ways to overcome this ‘inconvenience’ and continue to offer friendly loan assistance at “only” 8-10 % per month, which isn’t so bad in comparison with others who sometimes demand as much as 50 -100% interest per month – compounded!

Though Nikko feels bad about receiving so much media attention for these recent allegations, what really bothers him is that he “don’t receive any respect”. And that is the worst thing of all, as far as Nikko is concerned.

1 Comment

  1. Tony Soprano?

    Isn’t he the character with such ‘colorful language’, including the “F-word” every 20 seconds?

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