A former IDF officer who once served as an infantry company commander served as an undercover agent for Israel Police to infiltrate an influential group of arms and drug dealers, leading to the arrest of dozens of suspects on Tuesday.
The undercover investigation was conducted for over a year as part of Operation 217.
"Running a secret agent is a work that is completely a craft of thought: taking a normative person from their locality, a valued person, an IDF officer and in a complex and professional training process prepare him for work in the core of the criminal medium as one of their own – under a cloak of secrecy, for over a year – to infiltrate the closed space of the criminal society, gain trust and plant in their closest circle one of our own," said District Commander Amihai Ashad at a ceremony on Tuesday.
The former IDF officer was trained for months for the operation, during which a cover story was built for him and he began to make social connections with criminals in central Israel.
On Tuesday morning, dozens of teams of police detectives and Border Police conducted a wave of arrests Petah Tikva, Ramla, Lod, Yavne, Elad, Kafr Bara, Kafr Qasem, Taibe, Harish, Hadera, Tirah Ha'Carmel, Ashdod and Bat Yam, among other locations.
The agent documented transactions and purchased an explosive device, five pistols, a grenade and large amounts of cocaine and ecstasy pills from the criminals.
"Anyone who thinks that, due to the reality of the coronavirus, Israel Police is reducing smart and aggressive operations is making a serious mistake," said head of the Investigations and Intelligence Division Yigal Ben Shalom. "We are at the end of the covert phase of a large-scale operation. An operation to operate an agent requires a considerable budget; such an operation undermines the security of the criminals in their immediate area."
The dozens of suspects who were arrested on Tuesday were transferred for questioning and will be brought before a judge at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court.