Hodaya Monsonego, a young Israeli with special needs who was arrested in Peru about two years ago on suspicion of drug smuggling, landed on Thursday night at Ben-Gurion Airport in Israel after a court in Peru decided to release her from house arrest last month. Family and friends were waiting for her when she landed at Ben Gurion Airport.
Monsonego was arrested at the airport in Peru on suspicion of smuggling drugs after tens of kilograms of cocaine were found in Monsonego's and another young woman's bags, according to law enforcement officials. After all the legal proceedings, she was imprisoned for nine months in one of the hardest prisons in the country for women.
After the end of her imprisonment in May 2020, the young woman was released under house arrest in the capital city of Lima where she stayed for more than a year. Last month, a court in Peru decided to release her from house arrest and allow her to return to Israel.
אתמול ליווינו את הודיה לשדה התעופה בלימה וכעת מתרגשים מאוד יחד איתה ומשפחתה אחרי מסע ארוך ומפרך של שנתיים. תודה לכל צוות השגרירות המסור בפרו, לשר, למנכ״ל, למטה משרד החוץ בירושלים ולכל מי שהתגייס לסייע בישראל ובפרו לחזרתה של הודיה הביתה. ברוכה השבה! pic.twitter.com/pYYJcLYY2F— Asaf Ichilevich (@a_ichil) September 24, 2021
Israeli Ambassador to Peru Asaf Ichilevich wrote, "Yesterday we accompanied Hodaya to the airport in Lima after a long and arduous journey of two years and now we are very excited together with her and her family. Thank you to everyone who enlisted to help in Israel and Peru for Hodaya's return home."
During her imprisonment, Monsonego's family claimed that she was exploited due to her condition and special needs.
In an interview with her brother by 103FM in August, he accused her friend of taking advantage of Monsonego's situation: "Hodaya did two years of national service with children in kindergarten, slightly older children, Hodaya has a connection to children. The friend who knew Hodaya saw this thing and simply took advantage of it. They built a story and told her 'help me take care of my nephews'. When they went on a trip to Spain, miraculously, the suitcase broke and they went to another destination we did not know. Only when she was in Spain did she update us. That's where the story unfolded."