Telegrass founder recaptured, extradited to Israel

Founder of large dope ring lands in Israel for prosecution after escaping police in Ukraine, being recaptured and extradited.

Gary Willig,

Ukraine
Ukraine
Yahav Gamliel, Flash 90

Telegrass founder Amos Dov Silver landed in Israel early Sunday morning after a Ukrainian court approved his extradition to Israel for prosecution of drug offenses, money laundering and other offenses.

Silver, a dual Israel-US citizen, was arrested in Ukraine in March for drug trafficking, along with dozens of other suspects in Israel and abroad following an extensive undercover investigation by the Israel Police. Silver has been fighting his extradition in Ukrainian courts ever since, but lost the battle on Thursday.

On Friday, Silver escaped from police custody. Authorities recaptured him on Saturday and he was quickly put on a flight to Israel.

Telegrass utilized the encrypted messaging app Telegram to sell drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine, and had a vast network across the United States, Ukraine and Germany. It had over 100,000 members, including thousands of drug dealers, and reportedly earned about NIS 60 million ($16,951) a month.

Drug dealers interested in working with Telegrass were required to provide personal information, including their ID numbers and cell phone numbers. Anyone wanting to purchase drugs through Telegrass also had to provide their ID number and cell phone number as well as a screenshot of their Facebook page.

During the nine-month investigation prior to Silver's arrest, Israel Police worked in cooperation with police units in the United States, Ukraine and Germany.

“During the operation, I bought all types of drugs: ecstasy, cocaine, MD [ecstasy], LSD, marijuana and hash according to instructions from my handler,” a police agent said.

The drugs were also sold to a large number of minors.




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