Translated from Hebrew.
Former Mr. Israel and another man were arrested on suspicion of running a network for the production and smuggling of steroids
The police and tax authorities arrested the two suspects overnight following an investigation conducted on the basis of information obtained from the US Drug Enforcement Authority. The main suspect is Elad Ferman, who was previously known as "Mr. Israel"
Tags: tax authority steroids drug unit diamond money laundering
The Tax and Police Authority arrested two suspects on suspicion of running an international network of production, distribution and smuggling of anabolic steroids (hormones that promote muscle and bone development) and counterfeit drugs worldwide. Eyal Cohen, the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court, extended their remand by eight days after the investigation team requested that the detention be extended by 10 days.
The investigation was opened, among other things, following information received by the Israeli authorities from the DEA, the US Drug Enforcement Authority. In addition to the two detainees, another suspect is being interrogated in the offices of the Tax Unit of the Tax Authority. Further arrests are expected.
The main suspect in the affair is Elad Ferman, who specializes in bodybuilding and was previously crowned "Mr. Israel". According to the arrest request, Ferman heads the illegal activity of marketing anabolic steroids through a Web site, with the target audience being customers from abroad, mainly from the US Another suspect in the case, Lior Harush Shapira, is also suspected of serving as one of the chain's leaders.
For the purpose of their criminal activity, the suspects used false names and / or straw people. According to Ferman, represented by attorney Ronen Rosenblum, Shapira, represented by attorney Kobi Ben Shaya, marketing the steroid under the brand SCIROXX, when the products are smuggled from Israel in a false statement under the guise of cosmetics by EMS mail Fast) and under pseudonyms. The money from overseas sales came to Israel on the names of straw men, by courier, Western Union and Manny Gram, and the names of straw men, raw materials for the manufacture of steroids, were smuggled into Israel, falsely stating the contents of the packages.
The findings of the investigation point to extensive illegal business activity conducted by the suspects, which does not report to the tax authorities. There is also suspicion of serious offenses against the Income Tax Ordinance, the VAT Law, the Customs Ordinance, the Prohibition of Money Laundering Law and the Penal Law - Life Risk.
Ronen Rosenblum Attorney Ronen Rosenblum Photo: Hezi Biran
During the searches at Fermann's manufacturing plant, illegal substances were seized and tens of thousands of pills were tested for anabolic steroids. In Fermann's home, luxury vehicles were estimated at hundreds of thousands of shekels each, as well as equipment that ties him to suspicions.
The hidden investigation, which lasted about a year, is managed by the Diamond Unit in cooperation with the Customs and VAT Investigations Department in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Police Station, the Money Laundering Prohibition Authority, the Intelligence Unit of the Israel Tax Authority and the Foreign Operations Coordination Unit of the Israel Police.