Large synthetic marijuana bust in Petah Tikvah .
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Two suspects were arrested in Petah Tikva earlier this month when police searched their home and allegedly found a laboratory for the manufacture of a synthetic cannabinoid product called “Nice Guy.”
Police announced the arrests on Sunday along with the expectation of an indictment against one of the suspects on drug-manufacturing charges.
A statement by the Sharon District Police said the 27-year-old suspect was arrested at his home on Ansky Street while he was wearing a mask, allegedly to protect himself from dangerous chemicals produced during the manufacturing process of synthetic marijuana. His detention has been extended repeatedly since the arrest on March 15.
At the same time, police searched a separate house and found some NIS 650,000, alleged to be money made from drug trafficking.
“During the course of the investigation a mail item was detected waiting for the suspect in the post office,” the statement said. “The package was collected and opened.
It was discovered that the package contained a toy car containing 100 grams of suspicious material that is suspected of being used to make synthetic marijuana... During the search, a collection of toy cars was found, that according to suspicions, came from previous packages received by the suspect.”
Police estimated that 100 grams of material it seized could be used to make some 10,000 units of the Nice Guy product.
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Synthetic marijuana became popular after a shortage of real pot in Israel began around 2009. For years the drug was openly available from kiosks, especially in central Tel Aviv. However, in 2013 the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee voted to widen the scope of the banned substances list to include fake marijuana products and other synthetic drugs.
After the ban, the open sale of illegal synthetic drugs largely vanished and went underground, like their non-synthetic counterparts.
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