Three Israeli youths were arrested in Japan over the weekend after local authorities seized what they called "an unprecedented amount" of narcotics concealed in artifacts they were transporting in a suitcase.
An attorney for one of the detainees, Mordechai Tzibin, said the group had fallen victim to a con maneuver which had taken advantage of their naiveté and tricked them into unknowingly trafficking the drugs.
The youths have been held at the Narita International Airport near Tokyo since Friday, two of them are under the age of 20 and are considered minors by Japanese law. One of the three is less than 18-years-old – making him a minor under Israeli law as well.
The families of those detained have signed over power of attorney to Tzibin, who met with the families over the course of the day on Sunday.
Tzibin said the boys were clearly victims of a sting. "The proof of this," he said, "is that they told their friends all about the trip."
The attorney says that while in Israel the youths were approached a man who offered to fund their plane tickets and accommodations in Europe in exchange for "a small service." The boys were instructed to fly to Amsterdam, where they would be met by another man who was to entrust them with a suitcase
containing ancient artifacts, which they would then transport to Japan and hand over to a third party.
Tzibin further said that excluding the man who the youths were supposed to rendezvous with in Japan, all those involved in the plot are Israelis. He is expected to contact the relevant Japanese authorities on Monday to begin the legal proceedings.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the arrest of the youths.