Mutton-smuggling minister caught at Israel airport

AP News
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Posted: Sep 08, 2011 12:01 PM
Mutton-smuggling minister caught at Israel airport

An Azerbaijani Cabinet minister has been left feeling sheepish after he was caught trying to smuggle more than 100 pounds of lamb meat into Israel.

Tax Authority spokeswoman Idit Lev-Zerahia said Thursday that 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of fresh meat were found in the minister's luggage this week during a routine inspection at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport.

She said the meat was confiscated by customs officials and later destroyed, according to protocol. She did not name the minister.

Israel requires permits for importing meat over one kilogram (2,2 pounds), she said.

The Israeli Haaretz paper reported that the minister's aides were embarrassed by the incident. They told the paper the meat was intended for the minister's meals during his visit to Israel.

Azerbaijani officials were not immediately available for comment.