4 more arrested in probe of food supplement smuggling
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4 more arrested in probe of food supplement smuggling

Two senior Health Ministry employees and two customs agents nabbed, following earlier arrest of major importer, quarantine head

Illustrative: Bodybuilders. In Israel, bodybuilders use food supplements approved by the Health Ministry. (YouTube screenshot)
Illustrative: Bodybuilders. In Israel, bodybuilders use food supplements approved by the Health Ministry. (YouTube screenshot)

Police announced Tuesday that they had arrested two senior Health Ministry food engineers and two customs agents as part of an ongoing probe into the suspected smuggling of food supplements for athletes into Israel.

Nine days ago, following an undercover investigation that lasted several months, police from the Lahav 433 anti-fraud unit arrested a person described as a “very big importer,” along with the Health Ministry’s director of the quarantine station at the port of Ashdod in southern Israel.

Police said the importer is suspected of having tried to smuggle into Israel food supplements for the sports industry without having them checked first by the Health Ministry.

The port of the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, July 27, 2014. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The importer allegedly bribed the quarantine station’s director as well as the customs agents and the two food engineers. The latter are responsible for issuing import certificates for the supplements.

A police statement said the force was working to expose the smuggling of supplements that “endanger the security and well-being of the public.”

The probe is continuing and police expect to make additional arrests.

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