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IDF nabs $2 million cocaine shipment on Egypt border

Military says troops spotted three suspects approaching area overnight, seized 28 kg of contraband; 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 June 29, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Drugs seized during a smuggling attempt on the Egypt border, on June 29, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops foiled an attempt to smuggle over $2 million worth of cocaine into the country from Egypt early Wednesday, the military said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras spotted three suspects approaching the border from Egypt overnight, and dispatched troops to the scene.

Some 28 kilograms (61 pounds) of cocaine, estimated to be worth NIS 7 million ($2 million), was seized.

No arrests were made, according to the army.

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 and hashish from grow houses in the Sinai Peninsula, but sometimes harder drugs like cocaine and 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 confrontations with Israeli drug smugglers, leaving those to the police.

View of Road 12 on the Israeli-Egyptian border, on October 15, 2017. (Yaniv Nadav/Flash90)

Still, several deadly encounters between Israeli troops and drug smugglers occurred last year.

Wednesday’s incident came two days after Israeli troops foiled a similar attempt, seizing 80 kilograms of cannabis with an estimated value of NIS 3 million ($867,000).

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