French consulate employee arrested for smuggling weapons into West Bank from Gaza

The Shin Bet and Israel Police concluded an investigation into a French consulate employee who was smuggling weapons from the Gaza Strip into the West Bank. Eight other suspects were also arrested.
French consulate worker and smuggler, Roman Frank Photo Credit: Shin Bet Spokesperson

The Shin Bet and Israel Police concluded this morning (Monday) an investigation into Roman Frank, a French citizen and consulate worker who smuggled arms from the Gaza Strip into the West Bank. The Israeli authorities coordinated with their French counterparts throughout the investigation. Israeli officials underlined that the incident will not affect the French-Israeli relations.

According to the Shin Bet, the consulate worker smuggled arms several times over the last few months by using the consulate vehicle, which received leniencies at border crossings. The suspect managed to smuggle some 70 pistols and two assault rifles.

The suspect received the weapons from a Palestinian who works in the French Cultural Center in the Gaza Strip. After taking the weapons to the West Bank, the suspect gave them to a contact who sold them to an arms dealer. Eight other suspects were also arrested.

“From the investigation, we have concluded that the French consulate employee’s incentive was pecuniary, and he acted on his own accord without his superior’s knowledge,” said the Shin Bet. “This is a serious incident, where the diplomatic immunities and privileges granted to foreign missions in Israel were abused in order to smuggle dozens of arms that are bound to be used in terror attacks against Israeli citizens and the security forces.”



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