Former Agent Suspect in Illegal Gas Sales

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CBNNews.com - ASHKELON, Israel - Police are investigating a former Shin Bet (General Security Agency) agent in Wednesday's seizure of 1,700 pirated gas canisters.

Officials from the Ministry of National Infrastructures raided a warehouse in an industrial zone in southern Ashkelon, a coastal city about five miles north of the Gaza Strip, where they discovered the containers.

The warehouse, owned by a retired Shin Bet agent, housed some 100 tons of gas. On Thursday, another 200 illegal gas canisters were found in northern Israel.

The initial investigation led to a northern Israeli Arab who works for a gas company. Police said he has been collecting and selling canisters to the warehouse owner, who in turn sold them to a contact in the Gaza Strip.

Police are investigating whether the warehouse owner used contacts he'd made while he was a Shin Bet agent to market the illegal gas containers.

A former associate of the suspect called him a "legitimate businessman," operating his business legally.

"The man contributed to the security establishment in Israel, and it is definitely nonsense that this could have endangered Israel's security," he said.

"If the people from Gaza would have turned to one gas company or another, they would have sold them gas and then there wouldn't have been a problem," he said.

"The second it bothered different business people, everyone awoke," said the warehouse owner's friend.

Sources: YNet news, Haaretz

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