A Jewish citizen of Mexico, who was travelling to Israel, was detained for questioning at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Tuesday morning after authorities found parts of two dismantled drones in his luggage, Israel Radio reported.
The man, who reportedly went through the “nothing to declare” lane with three suitcases, told security officers that Mexican authorities had bought the pieces from the Israeli company Aeronautics Defense Systems.
He said he was brining the parts, which had broken down, to the company’s factory for repairs.
Among the pieces in his possession were engines, wings and cameras of “professional and sophisticated” drones with a range of “dozens of kilometers.”
The cargo had reportedly gone undetected during the man’s flight layovers from Mexico to France, and then from Paris to Tel Aviv on El Al airlines.
While the Aeronautics Defense System confirmed that it had sold drones to Mexican authorities three years ago, the company noted that it only does repairs by prior appointment, of which there was no documentation for the man in question.
After inspectors assembled the parts, they found that they did, in fact, make two complete drones.
The airline refused to comment further on the matter.