Convicted sex offender and fraudster Rabbi Eliezer Berland was arrested in prison on Monday while serving his sentence for fraudulent crimes. It came after police found that his extremist ultra-Orthodox sect has ties with two-decades-old homicide cases.

“There was reasonable suspicion that he committed offenses. He implicated himself and provided a detailed version of events," Judge Elad Lang said of Berland, according to the Times of Israel.

According to authorities, the 83-year-old defrocked rabbi was allegedly involved in the kidnapping and suspected murder of ultra-orthodox Jerusalem teen Nissim Shitrit in January 1986.

Shitrit vanished four months after filing an assault complaint to police against a gang of seminary students.

One of Berland’s former disciples would break his silence and claim that the religious police murdered the 17-year-old, alleging they dismembered him and buried his body in Eshtaol Forest near Beit Shemesh.

In court hearings, detectives said they had “indications of homicide" despite failing to locate Shitrit’s remains, the Daily Beast reported.

The disgraced Hassidic leader is also being accused of having ties to the mysterious death of Avi Edri, 41, who was found buried in Ramot Forest, north of Jerusalem, in 1990.

The man was reportedly bashed to death by Berland’s mafia-like “religious police” amid allegations he was involved with a woman.

The cult leader had escaped the hands of law enforcement, fleeing Israel and seven managing to secure reduced jail sentences through plea deals.

While the new accusations against Berland are under a gag order, some details have emerged following the arrest of 10 suspects for their ties with “modesty squads” operated by Berland’s personality-cult-cum-religious-sect, Shuvu Banim.

Police said that one of the suspects became a state’s witness and implicated the rabbi over the murders, leading to his arrest.

Last week, Berland entered prison after his conviction on fraud, attempted tax evasion, and other financial crimes in June that saw him sentenced to 18 months.

He was arrested on Monday at the Nitzan Prison in Ramle following developments in the unsolved murder cases.

Meanwhile, the police also later apprehended his wife, Tehillah Berland, for questioning in Jerusalem, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Convicted sex offender Eliezer Berland
According to authorities, the 83-year-old defrocked rabbi was allegedly involved in cold-case murders of ultra-orthodox Jerusalem teen Nissim Shitrit, 17, in January 1986 and Avi Edri, 41, in 1990. Getty Images

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