The price of lemons has skyrocketed in recent months, prompting an Ashdod resident to try and make an easy profit from the expensive citrus fruit – and not through regular markets.
Police believe the 41-year-old man, who was arrested Thursday, smuggled lemons containing opium from Iran. The suspect denied the allegations.
An investigation was launched into the affair following intelligence received by the police, stating that the man had smuggled Persian lemons containing the addictive narcotic drug into Israel. According to the information, the fruit was hidden in an apartment in the city of Netanya.
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The probe revealed that the Netanya flat belonged to the suspect's father. In light of the information, a search warrant was issued and detectives arrived at the apartment with local police officers.
The search resulted in 40 lemons believed to contain opium. Nonetheless, the substance was sent to a laboratory in order to determine its nature.
The Persian lemons are small, dried lemons, which are mainly used as a spice and have a strong aroma.
The lemons seized were whole, and the substance appeared to have been injected into them without leaving any signs on the outside. Police believe the suspect arrested smuggled the stuffed lemons from Iran and sold the narcotic in Israel and abroad.
The suspect denied any connection to the lemons, claiming that the fruit were found in his father's apartment, not in his.