Five individuals were arrested on suspicion of smuggling cell phones to terrorist inmates in a security prison, Israel Police announced Sunday. A joint investigation of the police and the Israel Prison Service discovered the phones were being smuggled into prison canteens.
The arrested suspects all work in prison canteens. Police believe they injected the contraband cellphones into packages of soft drink bottles while the packages stood on the loading dock. The police theory of the smuggling operation being an inside job is based on the fact that the destination of each package was marked only with a bar code, yet the members of the smuggling network knew exactly inside which package to conceal the phones.
Police say the smugglers were paid handsomely: from a few thousand shekels for a miniature cellphone, to the equivalent of $2,255 for a normal-size cellphone, and $4,230 for a smuggled smartphone.
Five suspects of different ages were arrested during the investigation, and have been remanded several times. The Central District Prosecutor’s Office plans to file an indictment in the case on Monday, charging the five suspects with bringing cell phones into prisons and for violating provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
“The exposure of the network is another step on the way to thwart the delivery of communications devices to terrorists imprisoned in Israel, in order to make it difficult for [security prisoners] to attempt to direct terror acts from inside security prisons,” the police stated.