An attempt to smuggle 100 kg. of drugs worth about NIS 4 million was thwarted by IDF soldiers and police on Friday night.
Troops from the Yoav Brigade and the 282nd Artillery Brigade, together with Eilat regional police officers carried out the mission.
IDF surveillance detected a vehicle suspected of attempting to smuggle drugs into Israeli territory near the Egyptian border, northwest of the city of Eilat, within the area of the Yoav Regional Brigade.
Eilat police officers, together with Border Police officers, were called to the scene where the vehicle was spotted, together with the soldiers present at the scene. Together, they found bags holding about 100 kg. of drugs with an estimated value of about NIS 4m.
לוחמי צה"ל סיכלו במהלך הלילה ניסיון הברחת סמים בשווי של כ-4 מיליון ש"ח:תצפיות צה"ל זיהו במהלך הלילה רכב שעורר את חשדם, ככל הנראה תוך ניסיון הברחת סמים בשטח החטיבה המרחבית יואב >> pic.twitter.com/IW8HHgjKek— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) August 20, 2022
During searches for the smugglers involved, a suspect was caught and arrested.
The suspect and the drugs were transferred to the Eilat District police department for further investigation.
Operation Magen Hanegev
On an almost weekly basis, IDF troops along with police officers have thwarted drug- and weapon-smuggling attempts along Israel’s borders. Most recently, soldiers seized 33 kg. of hashish estimated to be worth NIS 600,000 near the Sinai border.
Friday’s bust was just one of several large-scale attempts foiled as part of security forces’ Operation Negev Shield to stop illegal weapons and drugs from getting into the hands of criminal networks.
The operation is also targeting marijuana greenhouses built in live-fire zones and cracking down on infiltrations into military bases in order to steal weapons.
While weapons and drug smuggling have been rampant in the Negev for decades, the military and police have only recently begun to view it as a risk to national security. This is in part due to the surge in violence committed during smuggling attempts and weapons thefts from bases.
According to the IDF, there has been a decrease by half in the total amount of drugs smuggled across the border and an increase of about 130% in the number of attempts intercepted, compared with last year.Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.
Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.