Daily Israel Report

Israel Returns Lebanese Drug Dealer

Israel has sent home a Lebanese national suspected of dealing drugs on behalf of the Hizbullah terrorist organization.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 4/15/2010, 12:06 PM / Last Update: 4/15/2010, 12:49 PM

Flash 90

Israel has sent home a suspected Lebanese drug dealer captured by IDF soldiers in 2008 near Wazzani, next to Israel's northern border.

The man was charged with smuggling drugs into the State of Israel. Officials said 48-year-old Ahmad Mohammed al-Mustafa was released Wednesday to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Al-Mustafa, who was suspected of ties to Hizbullah, may have been helping to finance the terrorist group through his activities.

ICRC officials helped al-Mustafa cross the border into Lebanon near the Mediterranean coast, where he was transferred into the custody of Lebanese officials.

Hizbullah is Supported by Drug-Running
The Israeli heroin market, worth half a billion dollars in the year that al-Mustafa was captured, is largely supplied by channels that run from south Lebanon, according to the Anti-Drug Authority. A significant portion of the funds was siphoned off to the Hizbullah terrorist group, Israeli police said in a report last year.

Also a year ago, a U.S. newspaper reported that Hizbullah has been financing its activities by using long-standing drug smuggling routes from Mexico into the United States.

The terrorist group has also been selling drugs in Europe, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel. The magazine reported in January that a Lebanese family was arrested for illegally transferring millions of euros from Germany to Hizbullah operatives, including its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, in Lebanon.