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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
South Africa: Israel arrests senior security official of
leading airline over suspected cocaine smuggling

JERUSALEM Israel (Xinhua) -- A senior security official of Israel’s leading airline El Al was arrested along with three others over suspected involvement in cocaine smuggling, the Israeli police said Monday.

The main suspect, Rami Yogev, serves in a classified and sensitive security position in El Al, with responsibilities including coordination between Israel’s Shin Bet security agency and the company’s overseas missions. He has been working at El Al for 25 years.

Yogev was arrested on Sunday at his office in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, after which a large amount of cocaine was found in the suitcase of one of the other three suspects arriving at the Ben Gurion Airport from Johannesburg, South Africa.

The suspicion arose that Yogev took advantage of his position and the company’s aircraft in heading a smuggling network.

Shalom Beno, one of the suspects, had served as officer of Israel’s Shin Bet and secret intelligence service Mossad, and head of security for the Prime Minister’s Office.

Yogev has denied the allegations.

“Because of his classified security role, we will not be able to elaborate further. We are certain that the police will release him soon,” his attorney said.

           

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