(MEE) — Israel has arrested former energy minister Gonen Segev on suspicion of working as an Iranian agent, the Jewish state’s Shin Bet intelligence service announced on Monday.
Segev, 62, was arrested last month after being extradited from Equatorial Guinea “on suspicion of committing offences of assisting the enemy in war and spying against the state of Israel,” according to a police statement.
According to the police, an investigation found Segev made contact with the Iranian embassy in Nigeria, where he was living at the time.
He is then said to have travelled to Iran twice to meet with his handlers.
Once recruited, Segev began working as an Iranian agent, the police said.
“The investigation revealed that Segev met with his Iranian operators around the world in hotels and apartments used for secret Iranian activity,” the statement said.
“Segev received a secret communications system to encrypt messages between him and his operators.”
The former energy minister is said to have provided the Iranians with information on the Israeli energy market, as well as intelligence on security and political buildings and officials.
Through Segev, the police said, Israelis involved in security and foreign relations were introduced to Iranian intelligence officials posing as regular businessmen.
Israel and Iran are arch-foes, and tensions between the regional heavyweights have only been exacerbated in recent months as the Iranian military presence in Syria becomes heavier in areas bordering those of Israeli control.
Drugs Smuggling, Forgery, Fraud
Segev fell into the Equatorial Guinea authorities’ hands as he attempted to enter the country in May from Nigeria, where he has been living in recent years working as a pediatrician.
The former minister was refused entry by Equatorial Guinea due to his criminal past – Segev was jailed in Israel in 2005 for attempting to smuggle 32,000 ecstasy pills into the country from the Netherlands.
At the time, Segev told the police he believed the pills to be M&Ms.
The pediatrician was also picked up on forgery and fraud charges after illegally extending the date of his diplomatic passport using a pencil and being found guilty of several offences involving credit cards.
Convicted of drug smuggling, forgery and fraud, in 2005 Segev was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and fined $27,500. He was released in 2007 after his sentence was cut for good behavior.
This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us