Ukraine nabs fugitive suspected Israeli online dope dealer

Telegrass founder Amos Dov Silver nabbed two days after fleeing police.

AFP,

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Ukraine said Saturday it had captured an Israeli-American suspected of leading a major online-drug dealing network a day after he escaped while being extradited to the Jewish state.

Ukraine's SBU security service said it had found Amos Dov Silver in "one of the regions of our country" and said he would be extradited to Israel "in the near future."

The SBU also said it had detained three of its own employees suspected of helping Silver escape Kiev's Boryspil airport during the process of his extradition.

On Friday, Israeli police said Kiev informed them that Silver had "escaped his Ukrainian escorts."

Kiev prosecutor's office said that he was at the airport bound for Israel on Thursday when he escaped from his security service guards and "disappeared."

In a statement on Saturday Israeli police said they had cooperated with Ukrainian counterparts in Silver's detention, saying he was found in the city of Uman, around 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of Kiev.

The statement added a delegation of Israeli police officers would travel to Ukraine on Saturday to "coordinate the continuation of activities and of the extradition process."

Silver was arrested in March accused of running a network with connections in the United States, Ukraine, Israel and Germany, using the popular encrypted messaging app Telegram.

Israeli police said at the time that the ring had a turnover of "hundreds of millions" of Israeli shekels (tens of millions of dollars/euros).

Silver founded the Israeli online drug marketplace Telegrass.

Israel has approved the export of medical cannabis but the drug's production and sale for recreational purposes remain criminal offences.

In 2017, the public security ministry partially decriminalized recreational marijuana use, setting fines and treatment for initial offenders instead of criminal procedures.

Israeli police have said that Silver and his alleged accomplices dealt not only in marijuana but also ecstasy, LSD, cocaine and other dangerous substances.




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