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Disabled Israeli returns home after 2-year detention in Peru on drugscharge

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An Israeli woman held in Peru for two years over allegations of attempted drug smuggling returned to Israel early Friday, Hebrew media reported.

Hodaya Monsonego, 24, a resident of Hof Ashkelon, was arrested in 2019 in Lima for her alleged involvement in an attempt to smuggle a large amount of cocaine from Peru to Israel. She was jailed in Lima for a year before being released to house arrest in May 2020, where she has remained since.

Monsonego landed in Israel early Friday, where she was greeted by family members.

A court in Peru ordered the release last month. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and former president Reuven Rivlin were both personally involved in efforts to bring about Monsonego’s release.

Monsonego’s family says she is cognitively impaired and was likely exploited by a friend and the friend’s former brother-in-law, who is the alleged mastermind of the operation.

According to the family, Monsonego’s friend, identified as Smadar Zohar, invited her on a trip abroad and paid for her ticket.

Her siblings, interviewed on Channel 12 last year, said Monsonego was excited to be going on the trip and did not........

© The Times of Israel

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