Bochur in Japan to Be Extradited to Israel


japan-bochurim1Yosef Bando, Yosef ben Ita Rivka, the youngest of the three bochurim currently incarcerated in Japan, will iy”H be heading to Eretz Yisroel today to serve the duration of his sentence in an Israeli jail, has learned. Yosef was sentenced back on April 30 to 5-8 years in jail and a $40,000 fine. had reported  back in January that Yosef would likely be able to serve the duration of his sentence in Israel, but not until after the trial of his friends are completed.

Yosef was notified that he will be allowed to travel to his homeland to serve out the sentence. has also learned that taking into account the time that Yosef has already been in jail, both prior and after his sentencing, as well as a deduction of a portion of the sentence for good behavior, Yosef will have approximately two more years in prison.

Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman had put forth a request to the Japanese Justice Ministry to allow Yosef’s extradition to Israel to serve out the sentence. The request was made several weeks ago.

Yosef Bando, Yaakov Yosef Greenwald (Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel), and Yoel Goldstein (Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava), have been on trial for their lives in Japan for unwittingly trafficking drugs into the country.

As has been reported extensively here on, the story began in April 2008 when the three bochurim from Yerushalayim and Bnei Brak – two under age 20 and one under age 18 at the time – were asked to transport some antiques from Holland to Japan. The ‘friend’ who asked them for the favor offered them $1,000 each and assured them that everything was legal.

Once in Amsterdam, they were given the “antiques” – concealed inside false-bottomed suitcases. Told that this was a precaution against theft, they once again suspected nothing, and flew on to Tokyo. In Japan, the false bottoms were quickly detected and broken into by customs officials – who found not antiques, but $3.6 million worth of Ecstasy pills.

The person who conned the bochurim is currently on trial in Israel. In recent weeks, reports have discussed the possibility of the three bochurim eventually coming to Israel to testify in court against the man who fooled them. Discussions continue, along with efforts to get reduced jail terms for the two bochurim who have not yet been sentenced.

Yaakov Yosef Greenwald, whose trial was held not long ago, is awaiting his sentencing.

The third trial, that of Yoel Goldstein, has not yet been held.

May we only hear besuros tovos.

{Yair Israel}


  1. Boruch Hashem lets hope it works out for the best. Lets daven for a quick release for the other bochurim and a release from jail end of story.

  2. Rabbosai! Let us QUIETLY rejoice at the salvation negotiated by wonderful askanim. But let us not make the mistake of celebrating “our hero” when the first bachur arrives in Eretz Yisroel.

    The fact is that the Japanese will be watching and the fate of the remaining two boys is in the balance. We dare not show any animosity to the Japanese or hail the boys as heroes.

    Yes, we are quietly proud of the emunah they have displayed -after the fact- and look forward to their future growth as ehrliche yidden. But we must not jump to venerate every yid who breaks the law and is caught and punished.

    The effort to save Martin Grossman was just a campaign to get his death sentence switched to life without parole. The subsequent canonization of the man was an over-reaction propagated by blogs and irresponsible individuals.

    This is Galus and we know our place in it!We must stop confusing our compassion for our fellow yid with the need to portray the wayward as righteous.

    So let the askanim continue to save these precious neshamos in Japan while we refrain from labeling the nations of the world as anti-semites. There should be no striking up the band and rolling out a red carpet at the airport; just quiet thanks for a neshama spared.