The Ministry of Agriculture enforcement and investigation unit today found 700 kilograms of meat in the Tel Aviv Tikva market smuggled into Israel from Judea and Samaria. The unit also intercepted enormous quantities of smuggled meat at the Dragot checkpoint near the Dead Sea.
The unit, together with Israel Police officers, stopped a truck. At first, when they opened the doors of the truck, they found nothing, but representatives of the unit and the policemen sensed there was something there, and exposed a hidden compartment with 6.5 tons of meat from the territories.
The unit has stepped up its operations ahead of the Passover holiday, when meat consumption rises, thereby increasing profits and leading to repeated attempts by smugglers to bring meat into Israel and distribute it to restaurants and shops.
While previous reports mentioned the seizure of meat from donkeys and camels, the Ministry of Agriculture stresses that these reports are unfounded.
A series of forgeries
Today's report follows one from yesterday, according to which enforcement and investigation unit inspectors exposed a ring smuggling meat into Israel from the Palestinian Authority (PA). The smuggled meat, which was sold to leading restaurants and various meat shops, bore forged expiration dates, slaughter dates, and kashrut certificates.
The restaurants that purchased the spoiled meat included Octagon, Zepra, Moses Ramat Hachayal, the Dixie Grill Bar, and Ad Ha'Etzem in Kfar Saba and Herzliya; Yeda Habesarim in Tel Aviv; and Marsel Brothers in Haifa.
The suspected smuggling ring, which includes both Israelis and Palestinians, illegally brought the meat into Israel from the PA in trucks using concealed compartments and other methods. The suspected method was as follows: a Palestinian importer purchased meat in South America supposedly for the PA, and imported it into Israel through Haifa Port. From the port, the merchandise was brought to a warehouse in A-Ram, and various methods were then used to smuggle the meat into Israel through various roadblocks under conditions that violated the rules of the Veterinary Services.
The Ministry of Agriculture bans the import of animal products from the PA to Israel because of improper storage conditions, and in order to prevent the entry of spoiled meat into the country. The smuggled goods reached a warehouse in the Atarot industrial zone, where they were repackaged and kashrut certificates, expiration dates, and veterinary authorization documents were forged. The meat, which was unfit for human consumption, was distributed to restaurants and various meat shops. Concealment of transactions and income in Israel is also suspected.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 5, 2016
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