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Investigation Underway

Nine Arrested in Meat Smuggling Ring

The involvement of restaurant owners will be investigated

Monday, April 4th, 2016 at 5:09 pm
Photo Credit: shutterstock. com Photo Credit: shutterstock. com

After an investigation by the Israel Police, and the Ministries of Health, Finance and Agriculture, nine people were arrested early Monday morning on suspicion of smuggling meat from the Palestinian territories into Israel.

The meat was smuggled into Israel by forging expiration and slaughter dates and kosher certifications. The meat that was illegally smuggled to Israel was sold to leading and gourmet restaurants throughout the country. A network of Israeli and Palestinian smugglers brought in the meat from the Palestinian territories to Israel with trucks with double edges as well as other forms of concealment, Ynet News reports.

Several members of the network were arrested and brought in for interrogation. During the nightly searches about 30 tons of meat, tens of thousands of shekels in cash as well as vehicles used by the smugglers were found. The affair is now in the investigative stage and additional arrests are expected, as well as investigations of dozens of clients.

The investigation revealed that a Palestinian importer bought meat in South America that was intended for the Palestinian Authority , imported it to Israel via Haifa’s port. From Haifa the goods were stored in A-Ram just outside of Jerusalem, and from there it was smuggled in various methods into Israel through various checkpoints under substandard conditions that are contrary to Ministry of Health regulations, thus endangering the public’s health.

The smuggled goods arrived to a storage area in Atarot, and it was repackaged with forgeries of kosher certifications, expiration dates and veterinary authorizations. It was then distributed to leading and renowned restaurants as well as various stores for the sale of meat.

“The involvement of restaurant owners will be investigated,” Chief Inspector Shmuel Jerbi, who is heading the investigation. He added that “some of the suspects admitted their culpability and in the coming days more suspects will be interrogated.”

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