A suspect who allegedly illegally made and sold missiles to an Asian country was involved in a similar affair more than a decade ago, The Times of Israel has learned.
On Thursday, the Shin Bet and police announced that 20 suspects were being investigated for allegedly illegally developing, manufacturing, testing, and selling loitering munitions, or kamikaze drones, to an unnamed country somewhere in Asia.
In a statement, the Shin Bet said that they included former defense industry employees and the alleged crimes included offenses against the security of the state, violations of the law on the supervision of security exports, money laundering, and additional economic offenses.
Most of the details of the case, including those obtained by The Times of Israel, remain under a gag order issued by the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court. However, the case has shed some light on a loophole in the Defense Ministry mechanism meant to oversee exports of arms or military-grade material, managed by the Defense Export Control Agency (DECA).
The earlier affair revolved around an attempt to smuggle a similar type of weaponry to a country in Asia. The munitions allegedly developed in the current affair use a more advanced version of the technology at the center of the older case, according to information obtained by The Times of Israel.
Loitering munitions, also known as kamikaze drones, are a highly-sought type of missile that lingers in the air