A suspect's car.
A suspect's car with stolen weapons in the trunk Photo by Israel Police
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Eight suspects, including three, serving non-commissioned officers in the Israel Defense Forces, have been arrested on suspicion of stealing weapons from Israel army bases and selling them to crime families in the south of the country.

The arrests are the result of an undercover investigation that began about three weeks ago. It revealed a criminal network that stole ammunition, bricks of explosives, grenades, rockets and other munitions valued at tens of thousands of shekels.

The chief suspect, a resident of Dimona, was arrested last weekend while in possession of 10 LAW anti-tank missiles. Other suspects were held following his arrest, as was the purchaser – a 33-year-old man who is known to the police and who served a prison sentence in the past for dealing in drugs and weapons.

All the suspects were arraigned on Sunday.

According to the police, one of the suspects, a member of the IDF permanent force, smuggled 10 LAW missiles out of a base at which he served in a single day. He transferred the missiles in his private car to his home, where he stored them before sale.

The weapons were sold to criminal elements for use in inter-gang feuds with their rivals. Police say that the current arrests represent the largest case of stolen munitions in its history.