Telegrass drug ring founder to be extradited from Ukraine flees

Founder of the drug sales network Amos Dov Silver's appeal against the extradition was denied by a Ukranian court on Thursday.

August 16, 2019 09:17
1 minute read.
Employee tends to medical cannabis plants at Pharmocann, an Israeli medical cannabis company in nort

Employee tends to medical cannabis plants at Pharmocann, an Israeli medical cannabis company in northern Israel. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Amos Dov Silver, founder of the mass cannabis distribution network Telegrass, fled after a Ukranian court denied his appeal opposing extradition from Ukraine to Israel, the Israeli police stated on Friday morning.

Silver was arrested in Ukraine in March following an intense undercover investigation by the Israel Police. He mounted a legal battle in an attempt to appeal his extradition.

The investigation of the network led to no only Silver's arrest, but the arrests of 42 suspects on drug trafficking charges.

Telegrass ran on the secure instant-messaging app Telegram. It was designed to facilitate - mostly cannabis - exchanges and deliveries between buyers and dealers and required dealers to provide their ID number, cell number and a short video of themselves to sign up.

Buyers were also required to disclose private information about themselves to participate, including ID number, phone number and a screenshot of their Facebook profile.

The organization consisted of dozens of administrators from various senior ranks, thousands of dealers, and was estimated to have more than 100,000 members. Telegrass's monthly earnings were reported at around NIS 60 million.

Gali Silver, Amos' wife, accused the Israeli police of "doing what it wants," after her husband had spent several days in the hospital due to the conditions of the prison in Kiev and said that the police replaced the judges hearing Silver's case,leading to the rejection of the extradition appeal.

Silver also claimed that a doctor, who hadn't met her husband, declared Amos fit to stand trial, Israel Hayom reported.

In the statement, the Israeli police also said that they are in touch with their Ukranian counterparts to monitor the situation and the searches.

Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Eric Sumner and Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

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