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Authorities seize cache of dangerous drugs in P-T

May 10, 2012 01:45

For months the Customs Authority, Health Ministry’s unit for pharmaceutical crime have being carrying out a secret investigation.

Suspect arrested [illustrative]

arrest 311 R. (photo credit:REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )

Snir Rahamim of Petah Tikva was released on Tuesday under restrictions after being questioned about hundreds of thousands of capsules and ampules of illegal drugs, including anabolic steroids in his possession.

For months the Customs Authority’s drug unit and the Health Ministry’s unit for pharmaceutical crime have being carrying out a secret investigation of people suspected of smuggling the illegal drugs into the country.

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Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court Judge Shlomit Jakubowicz released the suspect as the investigation continues. On May 7, the two units held a joint raid on the home of the suspect.

Tens of thousands of pills, powders and syringes filled with illegal drugs were confiscated.

Among them were testosterone and methandrostenolone hormone pills that may not legally be imported into Israel.

Health Ministry pharmaceutical crime unit head Mickey Arieli said on Wednesday that these substances can cause serious side effects including kidney diseases, hepatitis and liver failure, as well as acne, hair loss and other skin problems. Psychiatric problems such as bipolar disorder, paranoid psychosis, depression and aggression may also result from ingesting or injecting the drugs.

The authorities also found $53,000 in cash at his home.

The suspect said he had received orders for the goods from foreign suppliers via the Internet that are then shipped via the mail in packages listing his personal name on them. The ministry said he admitted that such imports were illegal but did so anyway. He also said he pays for the drugs and transfers cash in foreign currency via the postal services.

The ministry added that the suspect admitted to having an identity card that is believed to be counterfeit that he had planned on using to draw funds for another person. He claimed that the identity card was supplied by the same person with his approval, but that he decided not to cash the money for that person.

The authorities said they suspected that the man has a turnover of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year dealing with illegal drugs.
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