The closure of air links between Israel and the outside world led to a number of unexpected consequences – and, among other things, to the destruction of the country’s heavy drug market.
Drug consignments are stuck in Peru and Bolivia, drug couriers are homeless, and smuggling organizers are counting multimillion-dollar losses. The result is not difficult to predict. As one dealer said: “The remaining cocaine will be mixed with junk, and people will die like flies.”
Dan, 45, is depressed at his penthouse in one of Israel’s most prestigious skyscrapers. Dan specialized in smuggling liquid cocaine from South America to Israel – but his business has been around for a month now. Dan says: “I bought hundreds of kilograms of liquid cocaine in Bolivia. I pay dealers more than two million dollars, but with this coronavirus both money and goods are lost. Borders are closed, dealers do not answer calls, couriers do not fly. I have lost my last cowards in this crisis. ”
“30 couriers have already flown to Peru and Bolivia. Each received a deposit of 5 thousand dollars, he paid the hotel a week in advance. All this money went to the trash, the coronavirus destroyed the smuggling market. Prices will soar next month if they don’t open the border. ”
Dan leads the country’s largest drug smuggling network and launders profits through his car business.
The turnover of the market for liquid cocaine in Israel is estimated at 10 billion shekels a year. The business employs 30 thousand people. mostly couriers, but also merchants and administrators.
Networks operate between Israel and Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina. Drugs are also sometimes first transferred to Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin – and from there – to Israel.
The price per kilogram of cocaine in Bolivia is 3 thousand dollars. When it is brought to Israel, the price jumps to 80 or even 100 thousand dollars per kilogram.
Liquid cocaine is transported to Bne Gurion Airport, and from there it is transported to crime syndicate laboratories in Ramla, Lod, Rehovot, southern Tel Aviv, the Bedouins in the Negev, Be’er Sheva, Nagariya and Haifa. After a 24-hour procedure, cocaine powder is ready for distribution throughout the country.
Asher, a 30-year-old resident of Netanya, is a yeshiva student and drug dealer. He complains that it is now difficult for him to survive – without income and with five children. He says: “A bad situation for everyone is for me. You cannot feed five children by studying in yeshiva. I have been working as a courier on the Brazilian line for five years. Thank God, there was something to live for. My wife thinks that I trade in diamonds and often travel abroad. Am I ashamed? – I need to feed the children, this is what interests me. The crown destroyed everything, but God will give, we will outlive it too – and I will again work as a courier. ”
Dealers are extremely concerned about the lack of supplies. small batches of 10-20 kg are still delivered on the remaining flights from the United States and France, but if mass flights do not resume, cocaine prices will skyrocket by hundreds percent next month. One dealer says: “There will be a cocaine deficiency – and what will follow?” “They will start mixing cocaine with poison for mice, and people will begin to die like flies.”