Police claimed on Tuesday that a major Palestinian egg smuggling ring has been exposed. Following an undercover investigation carried out by the police's financial crimes unit arrested 10 people connected with the smuggling ring in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
It is suspected that hundreds of thousands of eggs were smuggled daily. The suspects will be brought before the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court for their remand hearing.
For the last few weeks a special team has been operating undercover documenting the network's activities. Yet even the investigators were surprised by the scope of the smuggling ring's activities which included smugglers, distributors and of course suppliers.
According to suspicions, the ringleaders contacted Palestinian coop owners who raised the chickens without supervision and in deplorable sanitary conditions.
Police suspect that the smuggling ring conspired with Palestinian poultry farmers to smuggle the eggs to Israel and place them among eggs meant for Israel's markets, including the major supermarket chains.
For this purpose the farmers forged stamps from Israel after which the eggs were loaded on to trucks and sent on their way.
The main problem – getting through the Israeli security checkpoints near Ariel was overcome by bribing guards to turn a blind eye to the trucks. The security guards would time the trucks arrivals with their shifts and let the trucks through, and then the suppliers would mix the Palestinian eggs in together with the kosher Israeli eggs and send them off to the markets.
"This is a very dangerous process. Who knows what went through security in those trucks without being inspected," one police source said, adding, "explosives could also have been hidden in the trucks, they were never inspected."