IDF captures 120-kilogram drug shipment on Egypt border

Troops seize contraband worth NIS 2.4 million after lookouts spot smugglers on opposite side of fence; no arrests made

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

Drugs seized during a smuggling attempt on the Egypt border, on April 8, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Drugs seized during a smuggling attempt on the Egypt border, on April 8, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops foiled an attempt to smuggle three-quarters of a million dollars worth of drugs into the country from Egypt overnight Thursday, the military said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras spotted the drug smuggling attempt and dispatched troops to the scene.

Suspects from the Egyptian side tossed the drugs over the fence, apparently for accomplices on the Israeli side to later pick them up.

Troops seized more than 120 kilograms (265 pounds) of an unspecified drug, estimated to be worth NIS 2.4 million ($745,000), according to the IDF.

No arrests were made.

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 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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