Arrest [illustrative] 370.
(photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)
A former IDF major was sentenced on Wednesday to 13 years in prison, for selling
hundreds of kilos of heroin and hashish that his unit seized from smugglers on
the Sinai border.
Eran Kabalo, a 33-year-old father of two, was convicted
by the Southern District Military Court of conspiracy to commit a crime, dealing
dangerous controlled substances, fraud and breach of trust.
received three years probation and a dishonorable discharge, and was stripped of
his rank. He will have to return the NIS 1.24 million he is believed to have
made from the drug trade.
The former head of operations for the Gaza
Division’s Southern Brigade was arrested in 2011 after he was caught selling
dozens of kilos of hashish to Avi Shalom, a civilian who had served under him in
the army years earlier.
Kabalo was a major in a unit that among other
missions was responsible for stopping drug smugglers coming across the Egyptian
border. The drugs seized by Kabalo and his troops made their way to army
storehouses, where they would later be picked up by police to be documented and
According to prosecutors, Kabalo skimmed kilos of hashish and
heroin from the seizures and falsified the reports later given to
The drugs were then given or sold to Shalom, who offloaded the
contraband and shared the proceeds with Kabalo, according to the
In at least one case, Kabalo gave Shalom an IDF uniform so he
could enter the base as a soldier and meet Kabalo at a storehouse where the
drugs were kept.
Shalom was convicted by the Tel Aviv District Court and
sentenced earlier this year to 11 years in prison.
Kabalo’s attorney, Avi
Amiram, said his client wasn’t the brains behind the operation, and that the
business started after he innocently mentioned to Shalom that there were dozens
of kilos of drugs at his base collecting dust while police dragged their feet
“He told Shalom this and the light bulb clicked on for
Shalom, and Kabalo found himself mixed up in this,” the lawyer
Amiram said he plans to appeal the sentence, and that he assumes
that his client will be released at his first parole board hearing, which should
be in a little over four years from now.
Amiram described his client as a
storied officer who “prevented mega-terror attacks by killing terrorists with
his own hands,” adding that “history will judge him favorably.”