French Consulate Employee Accused of Smuggling Weapons From Gaza to West Bank

French national Romain Franck (R), 24, a worker at the French consulate, and Palestinian Moufak al-Ajluni (L) and Mohamed Katout (C) appear in court / Getty / AFP / Jack Guez

BY:

A French consular employee has been arrested and accused of smuggling weapons from Gaza and into the West Bank.

Diplomatic driver Romain Franck, along with five West Bank and East Jerusalem residents, were indicted Monday for using Franck's diplomatic vehicle to smuggle in 70 pistols and two assault rifles into the West Bank, the Times of Israel reports. Franck was first arrested on February 15.

Franck is accused of knowingly transporting the weapons using his diplomatic vehicle since fewer security checks allowed him to do so without security officials knowledge.  Prosecutors allege he transported the weapons to the West Bank from a Palestinian employee at the French Cultural Center in Gaza, Zuheir Abed Abdeen.

Franck covered his face with his coat as he went into his hearing. Two other French diplomats were present to monitor the proceedings.

The Israeli security agency Shin Bet claimed financial gain was the reason for Franck's actions.

"This is a very grave incident in which the immunity and privileges granted to foreign missions in Israel was cynically exploited for smuggling," an official from Shin Bet said.

Jack Heretik

Jack Heretik   Email Jack | Full Bio | RSS
Jack is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He is from Northern Ohio and graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2011. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Jack was a Production Assistant for EWTN's The World Over and worked on Sen. Bill Cassidy's 2014 campaign.

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