An indictment was filed Sunday with the Castina military court against three soldiers suspected of trafficking hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of drugs from Egypt into Israel. Additional indictments are expected in the upcoming days.
The charges were pressed after an investigation found that the soldiers, who serve as scouters along the Egypt border, were involved in smuggling narcotics worth NIS 800,000 (roughly $204, 000).
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The case also involves 12 other soldiers suspected of handing over sensitive operational information on the deployment of forces and patrol timetables to Bedouin drug lords in the Sinai Peninsula, for which they received thousands of shekels.
Last week, a military court lifted a gag order to reveal that 15 people have been arrested for alleged involvement in the scheme, including seven soldiers, five non-commissioned officers and three civilians.
As part of the investigation, an undercover agent managed to buy two kilograms of heroin, worth NIS 250,000 (roughly $64,000,) from one of the defendants on Highway 6, near the southern city of Kiryat Gat. The drugs were hidden inside a faux spare tire loaded on the dealer's car.
Attorney Idan Pesach, who represents one of the defendants, stressed that the indictment is primarily based on the testimony of a single military police agent. "The defendant claimed from the beginning that the agent threatened him with a weapon to commit the act, but this claim was never examined and we intend to prove it in court."
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