One of the largest illegal online sales networks has just been captured
Huge operation by the Israeli police with Cyber and Lahav 433 units (equivalent to GIGN) led to the arrest of all the most senior members of the network Telegrass. Its leaders are accused of leading a criminal organization and selling tens of tons of cannabis and drugs and tens of millions of shekels.
Telegrass, which is used by the encrypted messaging app Telegram, generated estimated monthly revenues of 60 million NIS (Israeli shekel).
Israeli police arrested 42 suspects for drug trafficking through the Telegrass distribution network on Tuesday, putting an end to one of the largest drug operations in the Jewish state.
The network was the subject of a months-long undercover investigation by the Israeli police. Local authorities said they were working with foreign law enforcement agencies, including the United States, Ukraine and Germany. Thus, some of those arrested were arrested abroad.
The arrests mainly concerned heads of the organization and other senior executives, such as the founder of the network, Amos Dov Silver - an Israeli-American who was living in the United States to escape Israeli prosecution; he was arrested in Ukraine. Arrests have also taken place in Germany and the United States.
Trap tended by police and social networks
Cannabis-Israel magazine reports for the first time that the reason for Silver's arrival in Ukraine, where he was arrested as stated above, is apparently a trap set for him by the police.
Silver was invited to Ukraine by an anonymous person who asked to be invited to a wedding on 11.3, and especially to be his witness at the festive event.
According to information which reached the magazine, it appears that the customer, who was acting on behalf of the police, also bought the plane ticket from the United States to Ukraine.
“They made him come to Ukraine to participate in the wedding as a witness. He has a lot of fans, so he probably believed he was one of them and wanted to make him happy. "
The organization is made up of dozens of directors of various senior ranks, thousands of dealers, and it is estimated to have over 100 members.
According to the police, those arrested are charged with offenses related to the management and financing, trading and supply of dangerous drugs within the framework of a criminal organization and other related offenses. Employees were paid either in cash, bitcoin, drugs or other means that could help cover up the source, police said.
The accused will be remanded in custody on Sunday before the Nazareth and Rishon Lezion Criminal Court. Police said they are seeking to extend the detention of those arrested until the investigation is completed.
Telegrass sells not only marijuana, but also MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, cocaine and other illicit drugs.
The network includes tens of thousands of users.
According to police estimates, drugs worth hundreds of millions of shekels were sold as part of the organization's activities in Israel, weighing several tens of tons.
"This is an international case involving the operation of a criminal organization in the network with infrastructure in Israel and around the world, which manages a network of dangerous drug trafficking as well as other offenses," said reported the police.
These arrests took place one day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared to the Likud television that he would investigate legalization, and the very day Labor leader Avi Gabbay admitted in a radio interview that he himself smoked weed.
“I am reviewing the issue you raised,” Netanyahu said when asked about cannabis. “I'll get back to you soon. It is possible that this will happen. "
Although recreational use is illegal in Israel, the previous government helped relax regulations on medical cannabis, passing a law to allow more cultivation and export.
Facebook admits: we helped expose Telegraph officials
According to the report, Facebook provided police with personal information about the organization's director, Amos Silver, as well as other Telegrass executives, including private messages, location, identity and personal information.
The information transferred includes not only data from the social network, but also from the Whatsapp messaging application owned by Facebook.
A surprising revelation from journalist Dori Ben-Israel on the mizbala newspaper.
This was made possible, among other things, by a bizarre decision by Telegraph officials to communicate frequently with cartel leaders outside of Telegram through the Whatsapp app, on secret Facebook profiles and groups.
This is a cooperation that has been going on for several months and involves several units on Facebook, including Managing Director Adi Sofer-Thani, Facebook's security and intelligence unit led by Nick Lubarian, a relatively new company that s he is engaged in cyber intelligence and operates, among others, from its offices in Dubai and San Francisco.