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News Brief

June 16, 2005
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An Israeli detained on drug charges in Bolivia reportedly trekked to freedom. Ma’ariv reported Wednesday that the backpacker, identified only by the first name Gilad, was arrested for drug smuggling while trying to depart Santa Cruz last February, a charge he denied. After awaiting trial for months behind bars, Gilad was released to house arrest thanks to a fictitious marriage arranged for him with a local woman. Exploiting the furlough and with the aid of an Israeli ex-commando, Gilad hiked 1,250 miles across the South American jungle to neighboring Argentina last week, dodging recent riots that have wracked Bolivia. With the aid of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, he secured new travel documents and flew back home this week, Ma’ariv reported.

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