Chandigarh: Convicted in drug smuggling case, Israeli national to be repatriated

He was sentenced to 16 years of rigorous imprisonment under Section 20.

Written by Saurabh Prashar | Chandigarh | Published:February 14, 2017 4:00 am

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LIOR AVI Ben Moyal, an Israeli national convicted in a drug smuggling case, will be extradited to Israel shortly. He has been serving time at the Model Burail Jail since 2005. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cleared the name of Lior for repatriation to his native country, Israel, under a treaty signed with Israel under the Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2013. A letter from MHA was received by Inspector General of Prisons, Chandigarh, Alok Kumar, on Monday. Lior is scheduled to leave for Israel via Mumbai on February 16.

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Lior, a member of the international drug syndicate, was arrested in February 2005 along with a Czech national, Andreevi Jiri, and Kullu resident Narender Kumar by a Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) team headed by Ravi Kant Pawar. Contraband of 154.50 kgs of charas worth more than Rs 45 crore in international market was recovered from their possession.

Lior along with the two others was convicted. He was sentenced to 16 years of rigorous imprisonment under Section 20 that pertains to possession of commercial quantity of the drugs; and Section 29 pertaining to abetment of criminal conspiracy of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, in July 2011.

A source in the prisons department said, “As per the treaty under Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2013, with Israel, an Israeli national convicted in India can be repatriated to his country for spending the remainder of imprisonment in an Israeli prison. Lior has spent sufficient time in the Indian prison and is liable to spend the remaining term in Israel.”

A senior jail officer said, “Although Czech Republic is also covered under the treaty, the response of MHA on the plea of Jiri, a native of Czech Republic, who was also convicted along with Lior and an Indian national, Narender, is still pending.”

Lior was considered to be a dreaded smuggler. He had managed to escape from the custody of NCB sleuths after thrashing an NCB officer. A few days after the escape, Lior was apprehended by a local advocate with the help of some bystanders at Panjab University.

Although NCB claimed to have arrested Lior from the Industrial Area, his fiancée Lada Svobodova lodged an FIR at Panipat Police Station in 2007 saying that he was kidnapped from Panipat in 2005. Later, after an investigation, the Panipat police had filed a cancellation report in the court stating Lior was arrested from Chandigarh.

Notwithstanding his notoriety, Burail Jail will miss Lior, who has been the pivot of every cultural event organised by
the prisons department at the jail for a long time. Apart from singing Israeli songs while playing a guitar, Lior is also fond of Hindi songs.

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