An Israeli criminal was extradited to Poland on suspicion of running a massive drug trafficking and money laundering operation, Polish police said in a statement last week.
Shalom Lior Azoulay, 40, was arrested on October 29 last year in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where he was transferring en route from Columbia and was later extradited to Poland under special police escort.
Azoulay is suspected of leading an international crime syndicate that is believed to have trafficked drugs worth around 3.4 billion zloty ($920 million). Polish authorities have also seized some 1.4 billion zloty ($380 million) in funds believed to have been part of a large-scale money laundering operation run by the organized crime group.
Azoulay has recently been waging a legal battle to thwart his extradition to Poland, but without success. If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in prison.
The investigation was conducted by the Central Investigation Bureau in Łódź, under the supervision of the Office for Organized Crime and Corruption of the National Public Prosecutor's Office in Wrocław and comes off the heels of long-standing international cooperation between Poland and the Europol, Interpol and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The Poles claim that Azoulay headed an organization of several partners, including two Polish women and two foreigners. One of the foreigners, Ivan Manuel, was arrested in Greece.
Authorities in Poland suspect that the organization is also linked to an international investigation pertaining to cryptocurrency conducted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).