(photo credit: INIMAGE)
An elderly Israeli man and a Brazilian woman who allegedly conspired to ship millions of shekels of cocaine into Israel were indicted on charges of drug trafficking and conspiracy on Wednesday in Lod.
The case went public early this month, when the Brazilian woman, Nascimento Alencar, was arrested after arriving from Sao Paolo at Ben-Gurion airport with 19 kilograms of Cocaine in two suitcases. Alencar tried to pose as a Christian pilgrim visiting the Holy Land, but the large amount of Cocaine in her luggage was quickly spotted in customs.
Detectives then had Alencar text her accomplice on WhatsApp, telling him that she had arrived and that he needed to come pick up the Cocaine.
The indictment describes how the day after landing in Tel Aviv Alencar met her accomplice, 69-year-old Shmuel Faigar at a hotel in Tiberias, where she handed him a suitcase filled with the drugs. Faigar then walked outside to a waiting taxi, and was ambushed by detectives.
Prosecutors say the odd couple was brought together for the trafficking conspiracy by Faigar’s son, named as Yaniv Bronstein, an Israeli citizen living in Bolivia. According to the indictment, back in September Alencar traveled to Bolivia to meet with Bronstein, and offered to traffic Cocaine to Israel, in exchange for fifty thousand Brazilian Reals ($13,265 USD).
Faigar and his attorneys have denied that he knew what was in the suitcase, and have claimed that he was told by his son to pick up a package for him from a woman in Tiberias. Police have denied the claim saying that the WhatsApp messages sent between he and Alencar prove that he was very clear what he was picking up.
They also said that when he came to make the pick-up, he was carrying three cellphones and a spare SIM card.
Central District Prosecutor Iris Fikel Segel described the shipment as “a massive amount of drugs imported into Israel which had the potential to cause great harm if they were distributed to the public.”
She added that the conspiracy was planned out for months down to the smallest details with co-conspirators in multiple countries, showing a high level of sophistication.
Segel also issued a request for both defendants to be kept in custody for the entirety of the legal proceedings against them.