The military censor has released for publication that two Israel’s are being interrogated on suspicion of trying to ship spare parts to Iran for its fighter jets and anti-aircraft missiles.
Both suspects, brothers-in-law Avichai Weinstein and Eli Cohen, have been interrogated in the past in several countries, but they always managed to escape indictments. Cohen has been investigated six times in the past 12 years and previously has been slapped with fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars by the United States.
A Greek newspaper reported earlier this week that two Israelis had been arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle arms to Iran, but their identities were not released for publication until Thursday.
Cohen previously has tried to smuggle arms via the United States, Germany, Thailand and Portugal, sending spare parts for the Iranian Air Force and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Israel has questioned Cohen in the past but never has been able to prove he intended to trade with Iran, an enemy country and embargoed by the United States. After every investigation, Israeli authorities released him and gave him back his license as a trader.
This time around, he was caught in Greece when officials inspected two containers of parts for Phantom F-4 jets and missiles last April and in December 2012.
Greek officials said the containers arrived from Binyamina-Givat Ada, southeast of Haifa, and were destined for a straw company named Tassos Karras, listed as having offices in Athens.
A contact number was listed for a British citizen living in Sicily, but police have not been yet found him.
The current investigation began in 2012, and a Greek court stopped the shipments, ordering them to turn over to American authorities on suspicion of violations of American sanctions against Iran.
Cohen also has probed in 2000 for smuggling parts for armored tanks. In a separate case, Weinstein was the key suspect when Germany discovered that one of his shipments contained Israeli equipment destined for Iran via Hamburg. He denied all allegations.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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