Israel nabs 4 young women in mass cocaine bust at airport

Ben Gurion Airport official says officers first noticed the suspects acting suspiciously after they had landed in Israel from Berlin; police say the women were not framed and 'knew what they were doing'

Meir Turgeman|
The Israeli police revealed Tuesday four suspects who were arrested at Ben Gurion Airport a day earlier with 15kg of hard drugs were all young women with no criminal record.
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  • The four Israeli women were arrested Monday, following a foiled attempt to smuggle 15kg of cocaine and ketamine from Germany into Israel.
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    The four female suspects
    The four female suspects
    The four female suspects
    (Photo: Facebook)
    According to the police, undercover officers at Ben Gurion Airport noticed the women’s suspicious behavior once they landed in Israel, and decided to inspect their luggage – where they found the drugs hidden in nutrition supplements packages.
    The police also said the women split into two pairs, each arriving on a different flight from Germany, allegedly in order to boost their chances of not getting caught with the drugs worth millions of shekels.
    Although none of the women had a previous criminal record, Ynet was made aware that the police have indications that the suspects have carried out similar drug-smuggling operations before.
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    הסמים שנתפסו
    הסמים שנתפסו
    Drugs being inspected at Ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    Police now believe that the suspects agreed to smuggle the drugs willingly, and did not fall victim to any attempt to frame them by another perpetrator.
    A source tied to the investigation said the four are "good friends who knew what they were doing, they aren’t innocent as was first believed.”
    Investigators suspect that the women each received a sum of NIS 50,000 in order to smuggle the drugs, while feigning innocence of being simtourists returning to Israel from Berlin.
    Footage of the drug bust at Ben Gurion Airport
    (Video: Israel Police)
    The investigation now aims to reach the one who arranged the smuggling ring. Police estimate an organized crime syndicate is likely behind the operation, in lieu of the large number of resources needed to carry out such an intricate smuggling attempt.
    The lawyers representing one of the suspects said: “Their parents are devastated. These are parents who raised their children well. They are in shambles after the police reported to them that their daughter was arrested on drug charges.”
    Attorneys of the other suspects said in a statement: “The suspects are all young, normative women. Our clients are in a difficult mental state, having been involved in a criminal investigation for the first time.”
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    הצעירה שנעצרה בחשד להברחת סמים
    הצעירה שנעצרה בחשד להברחת סמים
    Suspect arrested at Ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: via Facebook)
    “The incident is unusual and requires a thorough investigation to bring to justice those responsible. We hope the investigation is concluded quickly so that we may discuss the release of our client.”
    While three of the women were arrested at the airport, the fourth suspect was apprehended at her home, and she now claims to not have any involvement in the case.
    Her attorney said: “My client denies all of the charges made against her. She was not arrested at Ben Gurion Airport, and had already left with her partner [by the time the arrest took place]. No drugs were found in her suitcase.”
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    הצעירה שנעצרה בחשד להברחת סמים
    הצעירה שנעצרה בחשד להברחת סמים
    Suspect arrested at Ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: Facebook)
    Deputy Commissioner Avi Biton, head of the Israel Police Central District, lauded the arrest saying, “this is the duty and job of every police officer in order to maintain public safety.”
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