Israeli ex-minister jailed in drug case

A former right-wing Israeli cabinet minister has been jailed for five years for trying to smuggle 30,000 ecstasy tablets into Israel from the Netherlands, according to justice officials.

    The former minister admitted to trying to smuggle ecstasy

    Gonen Segev, energy and infrastructure minister from 1992 to 1995, was arrested in Israel last April after the Dutch police recovered a bag of drugs he had hidden in an airport locker at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. 

    Police said he had been the subject of an Israeli-Dutch police investigation into suspicions he was involved in an Israeli drug-smuggling ring. 

    He had stowed the drugs, disguised as packets of M&M chocolates, in the locker after airport guards treated him with suspicion as he prepared to board a flight to Israel. 

    The 49-year-old physician admitted in a plea-bargain deal with prosecutors to the attempted drug smuggling and forging an extension of his expired diplomatic passport that he received when he served as a cabinet minister.

    "Nothing but monetary greed is what blinded the accused," the Haaretz daily on Thursday quoted the judge in a Tel Aviv court as saying as he gave Segev the maximum punishment under the plea bargain. 

    Segev, who belonged to the now-defunct, rightwing Tsomet party, initially denied all charges but later confessed. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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