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Nine Arrested in Philadelphia Bookie Operation: Wielded Hatchets to Collect Debts

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/23/2013
ted in Philadelphia Bookie Operation:  Wielded Hatchets to Collect Debts

Nine individuals were arrested Friday in connection to a Northeast Philadelphia bookmaking operation that used violence to collect debts, authorities claim.

The men, ranging from 26 to 48-years of age, each face racketeering and other charges after a grand jury indictment.

The CBS affiliate out of Philadelphia reports that Assistant U.S. Attorney Salvatore Astolfi claim the group offered high-interest loans and sports betting from various bars, restaurants and coffee shops throughout Philadelphia. And if you didn’t pay up, Astolfi says they made sure you did.

“Certainly verbal threats. There were some involving weapons that were directed towards certain victims. Again, that’s alleged in the indictment and they were repeated threats over a long period of time,” said Astolfi.

One of the men charged, Ylli Gjeli, allegedly pulled out a hatchet and slammed it on a table as a customer took his arm away. Authorities also say he threatened that same customer by placing a gun to his head.

Gjeli and alleged strongman Fatimir Mustafaraj face possible life sentences. The others, 20 years at the most, according to the CBS affiliate.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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