Airline Luggage Back-up Foils Israeli Drug Smuggling Bid

Roughly $600,000 worth of drugs were found in a suitcase after it went unclaimed, and later sent to the address of its Jerusalem owner

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Lost luggage waiting for their owners at Ben-Gurion Airport.
Lost luggage waiting for their owners at Ben-Gurion Airport.Credit: Ronny Linder

The global backlog in airline baggage loading has had a silver lining for Israeli police, who discovered a drug haul hidden in a suitcase that was X-rayed after it arrived a day late and went unclaimed.

The tinfoil-wrapped 7 kg (15 lb) of amphetamines worth some $600,000 were in a false bottom of the bag, which police allowed to be sent from Ben-Gurion Airport to the Jerusalem address its owner had listed in his lost-and-found complaint, Kan TV said.

Luggage marked off as suspicious, last month.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

The suspect turned up to retrieve it and was arrested.

“We are in a period where many people having been losing their suitcases – and he was one of them,” police investigator Eran Asraf told Kan.

This summer in Israel has brought with it a turbulent experience for travelers and airlines alike. Officials at Ben-Gurion Airport already expected an overloaded travel season, and more issues arose after Israel’s flag carrier El Al canceled over 100 flights in June and discontinued airline routes to several key travel hubs.

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