Weapons confiscated by Israeli police in a six-month long undercover investigation into drug and weapons trafficking networks.
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Police arrested 28 people on Monday, culminating a six-month long undercover investigation into northern Israel drug and weapons trafficking networks.
During the investigation police said an undercover agent purchased a Carl-Gustav rifle, a 9 mm pistol, and eight miniature “pen guns”. In addition, the agent is said to have purchased 100 grams of cocaine, LSD, Hashish, 500 grams of Marijuana, and 100 grams of MDMA.
“After establishing his status and acquiring the trust of the suspects, the agent carried out a large number of purchases and transactions in the field of trade in weapons and drugs, while collecting incriminating evidence against offenders in these areas,” the Northern District police said in a statement.
Along with the arrests over 200 police officers conducted raids of the suspects’ homes in Tiberias, Afula, Beit Shean, Nazareth, Shfaram, Bu'eine Nujeidat, Basmat Tab'un, Kiryat Bialik and Bnei Brak seizing seven vehicles valued at total NIS 1,000,000 and various amounts of marijuana.
The detainees will be brought to the Nazareth and Tiberias Magistrate's Courts on Monday where police are seeking to extend their remands.
In a statement announcing the arrests Northern District police said they are continuing to combat “the phenomenon of illegal weapons” in Arab-Israeli communities.
Arab-Israeli community leaders and Knesset members have consistently criticized the police for heavy-handedness and failing to properly police Arab communities in Israel.
“To date, this struggle has led to exposure and the establishment of evidence against hundreds of influential offenders, their removal from the street and damage to the economic infrastructure that is produced and facilitates their criminal activity,” the police said.
In April the police arrested 20 suspects after a similar undercover operation. The agent, who operated for five months largely in Arab-Israeli communities, purchased three pistols, four M-16 rifles, an Uzi and Carl Gustav submachine guns, as well as hashish, cocaine, and ecstasy, during the course of the operation.