Police: Huge heroin bust will create crisis in market

Largest bust ever made in Israel - 33 kg; effect won't be felt yet.

heroin seizure 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
heroin seizure 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The largest heroin bust ever made by police on Tuesday morning - 33 kilos - is sure to cause significant damage to the drug market in Israel, but it will be some time before its immediate effect is felt on the streets, according to a police source. "If we compare the heroin market to the milk market, milk cartons will remain on the shelf for a while, even if the milk production plant ceases to operate. Only after a while will the shortage be felt," the source said. "So it will take time for the streets to be 'dry' of heroin." Much like any other material in demand, heroin is "imported" (smuggled) and then processed before being divided up into smaller units, and then sent on to "drug stations" across Israel, the source explained. In between getting through the border and being sent to local dealers, the drugs are systematically processed, the source said. "Heroin is mixed in with other substances to increase its weight up to 10 times more than its original form. It's then divided into smaller amounts, and then split up again into street-levels dosages," he said. One of the immediate effects of Tuesday's drug bust will be a noticeable increase in the price of heroin, the police source stressed. "The price is constantly going up. There are dealers who waited for this 'shipment' to get through, and now they have a shortage. Economically, both the 'importers' and the smugglers are seriously impacted by these kinds of busts," he added. "In the coming months, there will more shake-ups like this, and the heroin market in Israel will likely face a crisis," the source predicted. "I'm pretty sure we'll see more operations like these in April and further down the line. Thirty kilograms are seized here, another 10 there - these seizures add up, and the heroin does not make it to the street." Where does that leave heroin addicts? "They'll find another drug. That's what addicts do if their drug runs out," the source said. "Heroin does not have new customers. It's the same people who consume the drug," he added. "While we need to attack the drug stations [in the country] that supply the heroin, the main focus is on the smugglers, those who have the connections abroad. Yes, the smugglers can be replaced, but it's not easy to set up the cross-border supply routes, and the Lebanon heroin route will face closure if these operations continue at the current pace," the source said. He added that IDF intelligence played a major part in the success of anti-smuggling operations on the Lebanese border.