IDF thwarts second Egyptian drug smuggling attempt in past week

Soldiers seize 9 million shekels in cocaine and cannabis.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The IDF foiled on Saturday an attempt by smugglers on the Egyptian border to traffic about nine million shekels ($2.55 million) worth of drugs into Israel.

IDF troops identified four suspects who attempted to smuggle the drugs into Israel in the area of the Paran Territorial Brigade and confiscated about 70 kilograms of cocaine and cannabis.

The drugs were transferred for further treatment by the Israel Police.

“This action is part of the ongoing effort by the IDF and security forces to thwart drug smuggling on the Egyptian border,” the military stated Sunday.

Such incidents have occurred relatively frequently in recent months, occasionally with an exchange of fire with the smugglers.

Last Tuesday night, the IDF foiled a drug smuggling operation on the Egyptian border in which smugglers attempted to traffic about NIS seven million worth of cocaine into Israel.

Israel in recent years has built a fence along the Egyptian border to block the flow of work migrants coming to the country from Africa through Egypt. The tall fence has also been helpful in slowing down the prolific smuggling trade from Egypt into Israel, mostly the work of local Bedouin tribes.

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Israel has deployed Special Forces to contend with the smugglers, who often become violent when encountering Israeli interceptors.