The Israel Anti-Drug Authority warned backpackers in India of Israeli drug dealers operating in the country, saying they tend to identify Israeli drug users to local authorities so they may continue dealing freely.
Some even plant drugs in innocent Israeli travelers’ backpacks, the Authority said.
“Some Israelis are sitting in an Indian prison because drugs were found during a search of their possessions,” said Authority Director General Haim Messing, who recently returned from a three-day tour of India.
“The drugs were planted by Israeli and other dealers, who then tipped off the local police,” he said. “The dealers believe that in this way the local officers will allow them to continue dealing.”
According to Messing, two out of every eight Israelis currently detained in India are the victims of Israeli dealers who had framed them.
“Israel’s image in India is deteriorating,” he added. “There are some places that do not welcome Israeli tourists. I urge Israeli backpackers to thoroughly check their belongings every now and then, especially after encountering ‘shady’ characters.”
'They set up my son'
Speaking under the false name of Haim, he said his son has been in a Bombai jail for one-and-a-half years. Soon after the arrest Haim and his wife left Israel and settled in a house near the prison where their 24-year-old son is imprisoned.
"They turned it into a Hollywood film. A horror story the end of which can't be seen on the horizon. They fixed my son the same way Messing warned about. My son is accused of trying to smuggle grass outside India and we are undergoing a legal process."
He said: "Any lawyer who sees the case will laugh at the fact that my son is still in jail. A normal judge in a normal court would have stopped the case. If the court rules that my son is guilty he will get ten years and it will take two years to appeal the court ruling."
The parents meet their son once a week in court. They avoid going to jail because of the difficult scenes they have to see.
"Dogs in Israel live like kings in comparison to how my son is living there. Visits are traumatic for us. My wife and I are trying to be strong but it is hell here. India is paradise and hell at the same time … We behave like robots and I am not returning to Israel until my son returns with me," he said.
Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eliyahu Yishai returned from India two days ago where he met Haim.
"Yishai promised me he will do the best he can. It seems he was touched by the story. Apart from him, no Israeli official has been involved in our story and Israel is shaking itself of the story. I can understand why, because we also oppose what is happening and I always opposed drugs. Until this blew up in my face and I understood that it is not all black and white. There is plenty of grey."