An IDF lieutenant was charged with stealing weapons and selling them off to criminal elements.
According to an indictment filed by the Military Advocate General's Office, the officer, a commander of an anti-aircraft battery, committed the crimes to pay off a $120,000 illegal gambling debt he had accumulated. Many of the weapons have yet to be retrieved.
The indictment claimed that the series of offenses began in September 2007 when the accused stole a LAW rocket from a weapons cache Duvdevan unit base. The officer allegedly sold the rocket to civilians for $1,500.
About four months ago, according to the indictment, the lieutenant sold an M-16 assault rifle he had stolen for about $600. The officer is suspected of having stolen another M-16 rifle from an army base in April; he allegedly sold it for $2,400.
The officer was also charged with placing the country's security in jeopardy, this after nine classified maps and a top secret operational order were found during a search of his home.
The prosecution asked the court to extend the officer's remand until the conclusion of the legal proceedings against him; a military court is expected to hold a hearing on the matter in the coming days.
The officer's attorney, Benny Kuznitz, said the officer was facing an "impossible situation after being pressured by criminal elements," adding that "his actions were wrong, but we must keep in mind that during his service he contributed greatly to the IDF and to Israel's security."