The disappearance of the missiles was regarded as a mystery for the past six months, until an undercover investigation was able to discern what had happened. The military prosecution is expected to press charges against the suspects on Thursday.
One of suspects at court. (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv)
Three years after an IDF officer was arrested for stealing a LAW missile from a Hermon post, it happened again. This time, four such weapons were missing from the bunker. The Military Police Criminal Investigations Division knew very well that such missiles can be sold for as much as NIS 100,000 ($27,600). These shoulder-launched units have become a weapon of choice for criminal elements in recent years.
The CID admitted that solving such crimes is made difficult when the perpetrators are soldiers.
Missile sold for NIS 40,000After many futile inquiries, the CID detectives followed a lead that pointed them to a few soldiers from the 12th regiment. The undercover agents befriended the suspects, found out about the missiles and attempted to forge a deal with them.
They managed to close the deal on the second attempt. About two weeks ago, one of the suspects, who was due to complete his military service in May, took out one of the missiles from its hiding place and transferred it to the agents, charging them NIS 40,000 ($11,000). When he realized that he was caught, the suspect attempted to escape, but was apprehended after a short chase. His two accomplices were arrested shortly after.
The investigators found that the soldiers, who had easy access to the bunker, planned the theft. They suspect that the three remaining missiles were already sold.
Fighting IDF weapon theft has become a central goal for the CID in recent years. One of the primary ways to fight such crimes was to send undercover agents to various units in order find security breaches and "steal" weapons, showing the commanders the severity of the situation.
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