Thousands of bootleg erectile dysfunction pills were stashed in a Tiberias synagogue by a ring of 30 co-conspirators who sold the pills across the country, police announced after making the arrests on Monday.
The network was highly organized, police said, with a clear hierarchy and division of labor, beginning with those who smuggled the pills into Israel, to an advertising branch that ran print ads and a website touting their products (alongside a disclaimer saying not to use fake erectile dysfunction pills), a customer service department that fielded phone orders placed nationwide, as well as members who worked in storage, packing, and door-to-door delivery.
The pills were originally made in East Asia, police said most likely China, and were smuggled into Israel across its borders, including by way of Jordan and the West Bank. The pills were brought in by the tens of thousands in plastic sacks, and the entire packaging process was done in Israel, police said. Pictures posted online by police on Monday showed packaging made to look exactly like bottles and packets of Viagra and Cialis.
The suspects were mainly residents of Tiberias and the Arab town of Sheikh Danun in the North. Police said that during the raids on Sunday they searched a number of places where the pills were packed and hidden, including a local synagogue which was a principal stash spot.