Over the past few months, dozens of young Charedi men and women have been arrested for smuggling contraband items in Manchester, England. Recently, two Charedim spent Seder night in a holding cell in the airport in the city. On Tuesday, two young women were arrested. One of them is being held at the airport, while the second has been placed under house arrest until Thursday in the home of a local Rabbi. On Thursday, they will both be deported from England with a black stamp on their passport that will ban them from ever entering England again.
According to an investigative report that was conducted by BeChadrei Charedim, an Israeli citizen has been having young Chareidi men and women smuggle a contraband substance (Khat / drugs) into England. The substance will not get the youngsters tried in court, however, it is creating serious problems for the Chareidi community in the city, due to the actions being taking by local law enforcement to stop the smuggling.
The sender dilutes the drugs to a level that is low enough to make sure that the youngsters are not tried for possession, but it is enough to have the substance confiscated and the carriers expelled from England. He offers them large sums of money to transfer the substance and the youngsters agree.
According to the report, this has been a trend that has been taking place for more than two years.
[READ MORE – AGAIN: Chareidi Girls Arrested in Oslo For Smuggling “Khat”; Scheduled for Deportation ON SHABBOS]
One well connected Askan in the Manchester Charedi community spoke to BeChadrei and said: “The model of smuggling has worked in the smuggler’s favor thus far. So far, they send Chareidi young people with the contraband and if they get into trouble with the authorities, the local Chareidi community jumps in to help out. This has turned into a Chilul Hashem for the community because the youngsters admit that they knew the substance was banned. This is something that bothers our community greatly.”
He continued: “We the Askanim needed to organize food for the boys who were arrested on Erev Pesach. We had to get them all of the food for the Seder and for two days of Yom Tov, prior to the Chag beginning. This is absurd. These people are not basket cases who simply made a mistake. They aren’t innocent. They wantonly and knowingly smuggling contraband into a foreign country.”
The substance that is being smuggled is Khat, a plant substance native to Africa and often used by the Yemenite community. It is a stimulant and is legal in Israel, but is only permitted in England in small quantities and only for people with medical prescriptions for it. According to local reports, the British are looking to change the law quickly in order to outlaw possession of even a small amount, so that they will be able to try and prosecute those who are in possession of it.
One British Rabbi said: The authorities have been nice about the whole thing so far, and often tell us when a young person has been detained for possession. However, recently there have been some 10 people per week who have been arrested and detained for smuggling. They are getting tired of it and will begin prosecuting youngsters even those who are under 18. We are going to have to stop helping them so that the organizers in Israel will stop sending these young people to smuggle for him.
The Airport Authority Service uses drug sniffing dogs who ow sniff and search every bag coming off of Israeli flights. Every flight undergoes intense checks and must pass their luggage through x-ray machines.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)
Where is this generation heading to? We are an am kshei oref and causing awful chillul hashem all around the world. We need to make some examples and maybe allow some kids to suffer the legal system!
The stupidity of both the younger smugglers and the adults in the Chareidi tzibur here in beyond belief. The article says they clearly understand what they are doing is illegal in the UK and they know that they are being targeted and there is a high likelihood of detection and arrest yet the continue to engage in this chilul hashem. Obviously, there needs to be a greater deterrent. Too bad they weren’t thrown into jail for the entirety of Peseach and left to fend for themselves.
Why do these types of articles no longer surprise me?
If someone wants to play the stupid game of drug smuggling and is caught, let them eat dry porridge and water in the airport. Why does anyone deserve to have people running out with kosher gourmet meals if they are bringing the entire kehilla into disrepute?
It’s a tremendous Chillul HaShem and the community should not be seen to support the smugglers in any way shape or form.
Additionally, where is this drug ending up? Being abused by frum boys and girls in the parks. So these ‘askonim’ are supporting the smugglers that are giving 13 and 14 year old kids un their neighborhood their first taste of street drugs. Thats absurd. Those caught should be left to rot on dry oats and water for a few weeks untill deported.
That more than they deserve. Its not a game.
A few thoughts;
When you don’t have a way to make an honest living you look to do things like this.
What sort of person takes anything on an airplane from someone they don’t know and lies to the security personnel at the airport.
Pretty soon the frumma will be claiming anti-Semitism.
Expect to get requests for money for pidyon shvuiim soon
No surprises here.
Perhaps the Askanim should speak to Roshei Yeshivos to post an ultimatum that any student caught smuggling drugs into another country will be kicked out of the Yeshivah for good due to the chilul Hashem. That should make them think twice.
Does anyone see the irony here? One can knowingly accept money to smuggle drugs but chas v’sholem have to eat chometz or not have a seder in jail. No different than a Jew who eats kosher at home and trief outside
commenters are correct in their frustration
BUT what do you do if your 17 yr old son / daughter calls you leil bedikas chometz from the airport that she is being held for doing stupid stuff?
TheMir, frum boys and girls are not going to be chewing qat in the park. It’s not going to 13-14 year olds either. It’s going to adults from Somalia and Yemen, who are inexplicably addicted to this very mild drug, and unfortunately live in a country where it is banned.
Anonymous Jew, where’s the irony? What issur are they committing? They’re being very stupid and reckless, but how can you possibly compare that to eating treif, let alone chometz?
By the way, in case anyone was thinking of trying this in the USA, be aware that qat is illegal here too, even in small quantities. If you have an inexplicable yetzer hora to try this stuff, go to Israel where it’s legal. But really, it’s not worth the effort. If you davka want to try drugs there are much better ones readily available, and places in the USA where they are semi-legal.
These askanim had far better things to do erev Pesach than worry about two drug smugglers. Throw them a kilo of shmura matzah & ze hu.
Someone needs to get these morons to divulge the suppliers & their parents should be interviewed as well.
Turns out smuggling is a Khat and Mouse game! Although the Khat smugglers are really the mice!
milhouse, committing a chillul HaShem is as serious as eating chametz or treif which only affects you not HaShem and His people.
Judging from the numbers given here, this is not a case of a rare and odd event. It is wide spread and verging on institutionalized. This gives loads of ammunition for anti-Semites and Jew haters, in England, where one of the two major political parties has already gone in a direction I would prefer not to mention but is well known and publicized. So not only is this an on-going public chillul-hashem, but the direction it is going verges towards endangering the whole Jewish population. So do you really take so lightly the real possibility, in terms of the direction this is going, that “religious” Jews would give the “religious” community a reputation of being drug smugglers?
There is no chilul haShem. The general public in the UK don’t care about qat. Most have never even heard of it, unless they’re Scrabble players. Most people wouldn’t even care if they were bringing in marijuana, let alone qat. So long as it isn’t serious drugs.
And right now the kids are not committing any crime by bringing it in; as the article itself points out the quantities are lower than the legal limit. When the law changes and they become subject to prosecution this will surely stop, just as they’re not trying it in the USA.
I hope they are aware that all the girls involved are no longer allowed to marry Kohanim.
Shvuyos = Assur to Kohanim
Don’t be ridiculous. The UK security staff are not barbarians, in addition to which they know very well that if they were to do anything inappropriate to a prisoner there will be a complaint and an investigation and they will lose their jobs and probably go to prison. The girls are safer in their hands than they would be on the street, where there are criminals and anything can happen.