Five more arrested as police investigate smuggling of Georgians into Israel
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Five more arrested as police investigate smuggling of Georgians into Israel

Investigators say detainees were in contact with a different network busted earlier this week

Travelers seen at the arrival hall of Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, on April 11, 2018. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Travelers seen at the arrival hall of Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, on April 11, 2018. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

Police arrested five more suspects overnight Tuesday as they probed alleged smuggling operations believed to have brought hundreds of Georgian citizens into the country over the past few years.

The action followed the arrest of six people and the detention of eight others earlier in the week.

Those arrested are suspected of breaking laws pertaining to entry into the country as well as conspiracy to commit a crime and fraud.

The fresh suspects are believed to be members of an additional network that smuggled Georgian citizens into Israel and was in contact with the group arrested on Monday morning.

The five suspects were to be brought for a remand hearing later in the day at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court.

“Police will request to extend their arrest as necessary for the investigation,” a spokesperson said.

With the arrests Monday, police revealed an undercover operation by its Lahav 433 fraud unit that over the past few months had tracked down a suspected smuggling network that illegally brought Georgians in through Ben Gurion Aiport, the country’s main international airport.

Among the suspects are contractors employed to work at the airport, police said at the time.

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