JERUSALEM: A man accused of operating a large drug-dealing ring on a popular messaging app appeared in an Israeli court Sunday after his extradition from Ukraine, where he had previously sought to escape.
Amos Dov Silver, an Israeli-American, was taken to court in Rishon Lezion near Tel Aviv after his arrival from Ukraine, police said.
His remand was extended until August 29, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. He is accused of founding the Israeli online drug marketplace Telegrass.
Authorities in Ukraine said Saturday they had captured Silver a day after he escaped from the airport while he was being extradited.
On Friday, Israeli police said Kiev informed them that Silver had “escaped his Ukrainian escorts.”
Israeli police said they had cooperated with Ukrainian counterparts in Silver’s detention, saying he was found in the city of Uman, around 200km (120 miles) south of Kiev.
Silver was arrested in March accused of running a network with connections in the United States, Ukraine, Israel and Germany, using the popular encrypted messaging app Telegram.
Israeli police said at the time that the ring had a turnover of “hundreds of millions” of Israeli shekels (tens of millions of dollars/euros).
Authorities have said that Silver and his alleged accomplices dealt not only in marijuana but also ecstasy, LSD, cocaine and other substances.
Israel has partially decriminalised recreational marijuana use, setting fines and treatment for initial offenders instead of criminal procedures.
It has also approved the export of medical cannabis. — AFP