Illustration Michal Fattal / Flash90

An agent planted by the Israeli government for over a year inside a drug network has uncovered dozens of cocaine smugglers working South America, Israel, and Europe.

During the course of an operation that began last night consisting of arrests across the nation, over 30 suspects were arrested, including a lawyer suspected of importing five kilograms of cocaine into Israel via Jordan.

The aforementioned agent, a former criminal who developed a reputation and became well-known in the drug-import field, was handled by the intelligence division of Israeli police. Among other missions, the agent was sent on missions to obtain large quantities of cocaine worth tens of thousands of shekels, as well as missions for transferring money to drug importers who had gone to Peru to obtain a large quantity of cocaine.

The activities of the agent revealed a layer of suspects from among the most influential people involved in drug smuggling in Israel. Each suspect had apparently planned to import at least 60 kilograms of cocaine into Israel hidden in cans of paint.

During one deal, two intelligence agents from the Israeli Police disguised as drug dealers came to a meeting at a hotel in Bogota, Columbia, where they carried out a deal under the mediation of an Israeli suspect living in South America for 6.5 kilograms of cocaine.

In addition, proof was apparently obtained against drug importers intending to smuggle large quantities of cocaine into Israel inside containers, by mail, via neighboring countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Cypress, via 'transit' countries such as Spain and Latvia - and using a variety of concealing methods. These methods included using double-walled suitcases, materials that mislead drug-busting dogs, casting the cocaine in the shape of a jewelry box, and mixing it into pain cans and bird food.

Towards morning, shortly before the wave of arrests, police District Commander Motti Cohen awarded certificates of appreciation to information-gathering forces and the handlers of the agent.

During the operation, the current prices for cocaine on the Israeli market were revealed:

1 kilogram of cocaine in Columbia or Peru – 2,500 to 3,000 dollars

Price for packaging and smuggling cocaine – 1,000 dollars per kilogram

1 kilogram of cocaine in Israel – 400 to 500 thousand shekels

1 gram of pure cocaine (before the addition of volume enhancing powders) – 460 to 480 shekels

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