Charges Filed Against Soldier Who Faked Kidnapping

Niv Assaraf and Eran Nagauker charged with fraud and filing false police reports months after IDF spent millions on prank abduction.

Tova Dvorin,

Niv Asraf, arrested
Niv Asraf, arrested
Hadas Parush/Flash90

The Jerusalem District Attorney's Office formally filed charges against 22 year-old Be'er Sheva natives Niv Assaraf and Eran Nagauker on Wednesday, including fraud and filing a false police report.

Nagauker called the Moked 100 police hotline to report Assaraf missing in April, claiming he had entered the hostile Arab village of Beit Anoun to get spare parts due to a flat tire.

The call prompted a mass IDF search that cost hundreds of thousands of shekels; Assaraf was later found alive and safe, hiding in a ditch. 

The two men have given conflicting versions of the events about what happened that day, as well as about their backgrounds and the prank's intent.

Assaraf claimed in a press conference following his release that he had not staged the abduction intentionally, and that he had merely wished to "disappear" after he was threatened by the mafia over money he won in gambling.

Be'er Sheva police later denied that Assaraf ever complained about being threatened; the statement also contradicts multiple reports that Assaraf was deep in debt - not celebrating a win.

Nagauker, meanwhile, denied ever calling the Moked 100 hotline to report Assaraf missing, instead insisting that he tracked down a police officer along the road where their car stalled to tell him his friend had disappeared.

Nagauker has also claimed that Assaraf staged the abduction, intentionally, as a romantic gesture to his ex-girlfriend - despite the fact that Assaraf's ex has said to multiple news agencies that he had taken their breakup the week before normally and without incident.

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court in April banned the two from leaving Israel for 30 days, and from Judea-Samaria for six months. Each of them was also required to deposit 3,000 shekel ($765) in cash and pay a 10,000 shekel ($2550) bail.




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