Drug Bust 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy Central Unit Tel Aviv District Police)
An IDF commander with the rank of Major has been arrested for allegedly heading a drug ring, responsible for selling heroin and hashish smuggled into Israel from Egypt.
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The officer was arrested three weeks ago along with nine other suspects, including a Border Police commander according to Israeli media reports, but the Tel Aviv Magistrates' Court had placed a media ban on the case, which was partially lifted on Sunday.
The Central Unit of the Tel Aviv District Police began investigating the
case in August when Dan Region Police stopped a vehicle containing 17
kilograms of hashish and thousands of Ecstasy pills.
The investigation uncovered the involvement of an IDF commander, serving
in the Southern Command and charged with confiscating drugs in the
Police believe that ,with the help of an accomplice, the IDF commander
passed drugs confiscated on the Egyptian border to dealers in Israel.
Police suspect that some 25 kilograms of heroin and 150 kilograms of
hashish worth millions of shekels were confiscated and illegally
transferred by the IDF commander and his accomplice.
Most of those arrested in the case will be indicted in the coming days, police stated.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz received updates on the investigation, and said it constituted a very serious incident which "was exposed thanks to the awareness of the Military Police, who have been following this for some time."
He added, "Should it become clear that the officer was involved, this would be a serious failure of values," Gantz sadded.
The IDF Spokesman Unit said the Military Police played a part in the investigation, adding that two additional soldiers were arrested for indirect involvement in the affair.
"The officer has been replaced," the military said. "Military law enforcement will continue to act with all tools available to them to ensure that laws are not broken within the ranks in the military," it said.