Police break up French cocaine ring, love triangle

Smuggler came to Israel apparently to murder his business partner over romance with female drug mule

File: Illustrative photo of cocaine (CC BY-SA Valerie Everett, Flickr)
File: Illustrative photo of cocaine (CC BY-SA Valerie Everett, Flickr)

Police arrested four Israelis with French citizenship and are investigating them for importing and selling drugs, conspiracy to commit a crime, and attempted murder, a spokesperson said on Sunday after details of the case were permitted for publication.

After receiving a tip about the drug ring, the investigators opened a case in November, Luba Samri said.

The four charged in the crime are Emanuel Amueyel, Dan Ben-Tulila and Sarah Ben-Abu, as well as Jerusalem resident Yossi Gabbai.

Detectives found that Amueyel contacted young women in France who were willing to smuggle the cocaine within their bodies — in order to avoid detection — and travel to Israel.

Once they arrived in Tel Aviv, his partner Ben-Tulila would take the cocaine from the young women and pay them €3,000 (NIS 12,800/$3,290), police said.

The drugs were then sold to users in Israel at a street price of NIS 1,500 ($386) per gram.

However, a quarrel over money between Amueyel and Ben-Tulila became exacerbated when Amueyel discovered that there may be a romantic relationship blossoming between his ex-girlfriend — a former drug mule — and Ben-Tulila.

Amueyel decided to kill Ben-Tulila, police said.

Amueyel then traveled to Israel, presumably in order to murder his partner, but was captured by police in Tel Aviv in November. A few days later, police also picked up Ben-Tulila, Ben-Abu and Gabbai.

Their remand, which had already extended four times since their arrests, was extended again Sunday, by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, until December 31.

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