Last updated March 8th 2017

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Chava Ewa

Last Updated 3/1/2017 at 9:30 AM

Ben Gurion Airport: A passport counterfeiting ring based out of the city of Lod was taken down when a supposed recent immigrant (“Oleh Chadash”) exhibited suspicious behavior as he entered Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport after a trip to the United States. Israeli Customs Officer Yael Z. alerted security officials when she noticed something suspicious about a passenger who arrived at her window.His passport said he was an American Oleh” she said. “So I made my customary joke about having nothing to declare except deodorant and Ziplocs. He didn’t laugh. In fact, he looked confused…it’s like he didn’t know what Ziplocs were.  Also, he never complained that Nefesh B’Nefesh wasn’t helping him enough.

A search of the man’s bags revealed no deodorant, no Ziplocs and documents which identified him as Rami K., a 26-year-old Israeli man born and raised in Lod. Rami explained that the passport he had used was a counterfeit, bought from his brother’s friend Shuki. “My passport expired and I needed to travel to New York for my cousin’s wedding. Well…my cousin’s wedding and to get the new iPhone 7.” Rami explained. “Misrad Hapnim wanted 280 shekels for a passport but I knew that Shuki sells them for 160. Or 150 on Fridays just before Shabbat.

Shuki was arrested and his counterfeit passport operation was shut down. Rami served 14 days in jail for passport fraud and is still confused about the whole Ziploc thing. “The customs lady was kidding, right??” he asked. “I mean, it’s just freezer bags… people don’t bring those things from America, do they? That’s just ridiculous.”

Filed under: Aliyah, Guest Writer Wednesday, Start Up Nation Tagged: #GuestWriterWednesday, Aliyah, Ben Gurion Airport, Chava Ewa, Israel news, Misrad HaPnim, Nefesh B’ Nefesh, Olim, Start Up Nation, Welcome to Israel, ziploc bags