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IDF captures 105-kilogram drug shipment on Egypt border, arrests one

Suspect also found to be carrying night-vision goggles and other equipment allegedly for smuggling attempts

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Troops stand next to drugs seized during a smuggling attempt on the Egypt border, on May 25, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Troops stand next to drugs seized during a smuggling attempt on the Egypt border, on May 25, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops foiled an attempt to smuggle over $300,000 worth of drugs into the country from Egypt on Wednesday, arresting one suspect in the process, the military said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, soldiers conducting activities along the Egyptian border arrested the man suspected of “planning and initiating” the smuggling.

Generally, suspects from the Egyptian side toss the drugs over the fence, apparently for accomplices on the Israeli side to later pick up.

Troops seized more than 105 kilograms (230 pounds) of an unspecified drug, estimated to be worth NIS 1 million ($300,000), according to the IDF.

Night-vision goggles, two cellphones used by the smugglers in the area, and other “logistical equipment” were also seized, the military said.

The suspect was taken for further questioning. His identity was not immediately known.

Israel says Egyptian smugglers operate by tossing contraband over the border to Israelis, who then sell the drugs in Israel. The smugglers mostly traffic in marijuana from grow houses in the Sinai Peninsula, but sometimes harder drugs like heroin are smuggled in as well.

Though the IDF is tasked with preventing smuggling along the Israeli-Egyptian border, the military typically strives to avoid direct confrontation with Israeli drug smugglers, leaving that to the police.

Several deadly encounters between Israeli troops and drug smugglers occurred last year.

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