Fake Viagra stashed at local synagogue, police say

The pills were originally made in East Asia, police say most likely China, and were smuggled into Israel across its borders, including by way of Jordan and the West Bank.

By
October 20, 2014 11:45
1 minute read.
Fake Viagra

Bags of fake Viagra. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Thousands of bootleg erectile dysfunction pills were stashed in a Tiberias synagogue by 30 co-conspirators who sold them across the country, police announced after making the arrests on Monday.

The network was highly organized, police said. They added that there was a clear hierarchy and division of labor, including those who smuggled the pills into Israel, 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, and members who worked in storage, packaging and door-todoor delivery.

The pills were originally made in East Asia, most likely China, and were smuggled into Israel by way of Jordan and the West Bank, police said. They arrived by the tens of thousands in plastic sacks. The entire packaging process was done in Israel. Photos 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 northern Arab town of Sheikh Dannun, near Acre.

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 that was a principal stash spot.

While the pills do look like Viagra and Cialis and were put in packaging that closely mimicked that of the genuine pills, they do not contain the same chemical compounds and are liable to cause health complications, police warned.

Counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills are often sold at kiosks and through online services across Israel.

They are not approved by the Health Ministry and distributors are often subject to police investigations.


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