Policeman searches for contraband during a drug raid 370.
(photo credit: Israel Police)
With little effort, an undercover Tel Aviv police officer made dozens of drug
purchases out in the open, and at the bars and bathrooms of nearly a dozen clubs
in the city in recent months, as part of a police sting against the nightclub
The purchases carried out by the officer, a 27-year-old man
originally from the former Soviet Union, led to the arrests of 29 alleged drug
dealers in the Tel Aviv area on Tuesday morning, in a major arrest operation
involving special patrol officers, canine units, and Border Patrol undercover
In most cases cocaine was the drug scored, but the undercover
agent, “Alef,” also bought LSD, MDMA and GHB (often called “the date rape drug”)
on other occasions.
The investigation resulted in six Tel Aviv clubs
receiving month-long closure notices, among them some of the leading clubs in
the city, including The Cat and Dog on Carlebach Street.
At the north Tel
Aviv police station on Tuesday, Alef spoke about how he had carried out the
investigation, finding drugs with an ease that should come as no surprise to
anyone who has spent time at nightclubs in the city.
Alef said he would
go out to the clubs and talk to people at the bar, or on the dance floor, or in
waiting in line for the bathroom – which at most of the clubs named is usually
jam-packed with people doing lines of cocaine off the tops of toilets and
“It was very easy and available; really every person going out can
find these drugs easily,” Alef said. “Any normal person can just go up and talk
Alef said there was a certain culture and basic level of
slang he had to learn to blend in; though at first glance, at least on the
outside, he did look like someone who had spent a few late nights listening to
trance music from the inside of a thumping bathroom stall.
Ch.-Insp. Amos Tzemah said that police “are looking to secure places of leisure
like clubs, but the second they go from being legitimate entertainment locations
to markets that allow the easy acquisition of drugs, we have to step in to
protect the public.”
Tzemah said police don’t believe the club owners or
bartenders are involved in the drug trade. He said all those arrested were
dealers who were not employed in the clubs and who operated with or without the
knowledge of the clubs.
In January, the Tel Aviv District announced the
completion of a separate eightmonth undercover operation against drug dealers in
Jaffa, during which an agent named “D” managed the arrests of 21 street-level
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