According to suspicion, a group of Israeli expats colluded with a known group in Israel's organized crime world to smuggle the drugs into Israel. The deal between the US-based suppliers and local Israeli distributors was supposed to go down last Friday.
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However, during an operation conducted against criminal figures in northern Tel Aviv, four men were arrested in connection to the drugs and in possession of explosive devices allegedly intended for use in underworld assassinations. In the meantime, the group of Israelis living in Los Angeles, suspected of supplying the drugs, were arrested by US drug enforcement officials.
According to police, while the deal's details were still being finalized in a meeting held abroad, the police's financial unit was already listening in on the perpetrators' calls.
The drug was confiscated during the arrest of two of the suspects – Yaakov Hayat and Shmuel Mazri – as they met in a shopping center in northern Tel Aviv, where officers found 20 kg of cocaine in Mazri's trunk.
The drugs, police believe, originated in South America and were passed on through Los Angeles with the help of the rest of the suspects – Israelis living in LA.
The serch revealed that police also found explosives and firearms believed to belong to the suspects.
Two additional men – Adir Kadosh and Kobi Edri – were also arrested for allegedly planning to attack underworld figures with the munitions.
The lawyers representing the group claimed that the suspects "have nothing to do with the allegations. Up until now we have yet to be presented with even a shred of evidence."
A Rishon Lezion judge extended the group's remand by a number of days.
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