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For the third time in just over a year, two Israelis were arrested Monday in India after bullets were found in their luggage.
Twenty-eight-year-old Marco Eluz from Petah Tikva and 23-year-old Rikat Nidam from Rishon Lezion were detained at Goa's airport after two bullets were found in Eluz's backpack.
But unlike the two previous cases, Eluz and Nidam did not have to spend more than a few hours in police detention. Instead, the two were detained at a local police station, were brought before a judge and were released after posting bond and depositing their passports.
Learning from previous experience, Israel's consul-general in Bombay Danny Sivan flew to Goa to immediately assist the couple. Sivan was quoted in the media as saying that the two were unaware of the bullets, and that Eluz borrowed the backpack from a friend who had recently been in reserve duty.
In the previous cases, tour guide Gili Haskin spent more than three weeks in an Indian jail and could not leave the country for a number of months after a bullet was found in his luggage, and Noa Haviv spent a few days in jail but then had to wait a number of weeks before her passport was returned and she was allowed to leave, after a magazine full of 16 bullets was found in her bag. Those bullets belonged to her brother, who took the bag to reserve duty shortly before Haviv went to India.
The Foreign Ministry released a statement calling on Israelis traveling abroad to ensure that they do not have any weapons or ammunition in their baggage, to respect the laws of the host countries and to be careful about receiving anything from strangers.