Israeli police arrested on Sunday Jewish Rabbi, who raped women last year, on charges of involvement in magic, sex offences, money laundering, misuse of charity funds and tax evasion.
Along with his wife and a number of the senior members of his ultra-orthodox sect, Eliezer Berland, 82, was arrested amidst protests by his followers.
Just one year ago, the Jewish rabbi was found guilty to rape of a Jewish woman from his follower as she went to him seeking his help or return back to her husband.
Berland was taken into custody during investigations into claims that he extorted funds out of his followers by promising to heal them.
More than 200 people provided evidence to the police as part of the investigations. They said that they paid huge amounts of money for promises that he would heal them from cancer or get their sons released from prison.
“He allegedly told a cancer patient not to accept medical treatment and instead pay him money so that she would live,” reported The Times of Israel. “After she died, her mother filed a police complaint against him, accusing him of manslaughter.”
Another family said in its complaint that it paid Berland tens of thousands of shekels multiple times for blessings and amulets to save a sick loved one.
“When the person died, Berland’s associates asked for another payment to ensure that their loved one was first in line at the Messianic resurrection.”
The police seized a number of boxes and powder and, after laboratory tests, revealed that the rabbi gave his “patients” simple painkillers and sweets, including commercially-produced Mentos.
According to a statement, the police said they uncovered evidence of “money laundering, hidden assets and tax offences worth hundreds of millions of shekels.”