Jerusalem – Just days after the Israeli media revealed an investigation into allegations of baby trafficking in the Charedi world, the well known figure at the center of the probe has been placed under arrest.
Chaim Aharon Yosefi was arrested on Wednesday night as he left a Bnei Brak synagogue, reported Ynet (http://bit.ly/2i8lGfE). He was charged on multiple accounts including forgery, sexual harassment and violations of Israeli adoption law.
Police arrived at Yosefi’s home on Sunday morning with a search warrant, and while Yosefi was not home at the time, he was warned not to leave the country. Investigations by both Ynet and Yediot Aharanot alleged that Yosefi had been involved in numerous cases of unwanted pregnancies in the Charedi world, sending expectant young women to the United States to host families to care for them during their pregnancy. The babies were reportedly adopted after birth, with thousands of dollars reportedly exchanged in the process.
According to Ynet (http://bit.ly/2i9StRt), Yosefi told one prospective client that he would cover all of her expenses for the duration of her pregnancy and the birth, including medical care for her and the baby, clothing and cosmetics.
“If you want, we can make efforts to give you some cosmetic treatment, a body design studio,” Yosefi allegedly told the young woman. “I need to pamper you. This is all in the package. Trips, restaurants, fun. It will all be paid for.”
Yosefi’s lawyers said that their client has been cooperating with the authorities and that they have full confidence that he will be exonerated.
Police called Yosefi’s arrest the first step in what they expect to be a major investigation.