The drug lab seized in Tiberias

Two arrested for operating drug lab within defunct synagogue in northern Israel

Can't wait for the High Holy Days? Officers seized over 700 lbs of cannabis after receiving intel about an active drug operation, but were shocked to find signs pointing to the venue's previous purpose

Israel Moskowitz |
Published: 05.08.22, 18:14
Two men were arrested for operating a bustling drug lab in a space that had housed a synagogue in the northern city of Tiberias until recently, Israel Police said on Sunday.
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  • Over the weekend, officers raided the drug lab and seized about 1,700 cannabis plants, weighing a total of about 320 kilograms (705 lbs). But to their shock, they found signs pointing to the venue's previous purpose.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    בית הכנסת שהפך למעבדת סמים
    בית הכנסת שהפך למעבדת סמים
    The drug lab seized in Tiberias
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    "A few days ago, we received intelligence about a drug lab operating in a residential apartment in Tiberias. We opened an undercover investigation and gathered evidence about the lab's operations," said Superintendent Aviv Benzino, head of the Investigations and Intelligence Department at the Tiberias Police.
    "It's shocking that they took such a sacred place and turned it into a drug lab for the purpose of growing, selling and distributing drugs, and all this out of greed.
    I estimate the place operated for at least a few weeks, the laboratory operated inside an apartment complex, part of which used to serve as a synagogue."
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    בית הכנסת שהפך למעבדת סמים
    בית הכנסת שהפך למעבדת סמים
    A support column within the defunct synagogue with a Hebrew inscription saying 'Know before whom you stand'
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    The attorney of the two suspects said in response that he has yet to receive the investigation material as it's still in its early stages but described his clients as two religious Jewish men from Bnei Brak and Jerusalem "who came to live in Tiberias… without criminal intent."
    A court extended their remand by six days.
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