Telegrass founder extradited to Israel after being arrested in Ukraine

Silver was supposed to be extradited to Israel at the end of March, but he succeed in escaping from his Ukrainian escort at the Kiev airport.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
August 19, 2019 04:18
1 minute read.
marijuana

A marijuana leaf. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Telegrass founder Amos Dov Silver was remanded in a Rishon Lezion court Sunday for 12 days, after being extradited to Israel from the Ukraine following his escape from custody there.

Silver was supposed to be extradited to Israel at the end of March, but he succeeded in escaping from his Ukrainian escort at the Kiev airport. He was found and arrested again on Saturday in Uman and extradited to Israel on Sunday morning with an Israel Police escort.

After landing in Israel, he was taken to the cyber unit of Lahav 443, which, along with the Yahalom unit in the Tax Authority and the cyber department of the State Attorney’s Office, has been in charge of the case against Silver and other members of Telegrass. Silver is refusing to cooperate with his interrogators.

Police said that those arrested are being accused of offenses involving the management and financing of a criminal organization, trading and supplying dangerous drugs within the framework of a criminal organization, and other related offenses. Employees were paid either with cash, bitcoin, drugs or other means that could help camouflage the source, police said.
Silver’s charges include running a crime organization, drug dealing, extortion, money laundering, making drugs accessible to minors and resisting arrest.

Silver was first arrested in Ukraine in March after a request by Israel, while Israel Police arrested many of Silvers’ partners-in-crime in a comprehensive worldwide operation against the organization and its management. This followed a months-long undercover international investigation of the Telegrass network spanning the US, Ukraine and Germany.

The organization typically operated using the Telegram app, in which they would facilitate the exchange of several drugs, mainly cannabis, though police claim others were also exchanged such as MDMA (ecstasy) and psychedelic drugs. According to police, minors were among the buyers.

Telegrass consisted of dozens of administrators from various senior ranks, thousands of dealers, and is estimated to have more than 100,000 members. The organization’s monthly earnings were reported at around NIS 60 million. Silver’s brother, interviewed on KAN Radio Sunday, said that Telegrass was a non-profit platform and that Silver did not make any financial gain from it.



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