Israelis at center of ecstasy drug trade

By Nathan Guttman, Haaretz Correspondent

Last update - 04:46 06/04/2003

w w w . h a a r e t z d a i l y . c o m


Israel is at the center of international trade in the drug ecstasy, according

to a document published last week by the U.S. State Department.


In recent years, organized crime in Israel, some with links to criminal

organizations in Russia, have come to control the distribution of the drug in

Europe, according to a Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement

Affairs document.


The same document also points out that Israeli criminal groups have a hand in

the distribution of ecstasy in North America.


During 2000, 80 percent of the ecstasy seized in North America originated in

the Netherlands, which is the largest production center, along with Belgium

and Poland. The State Department is certain that Israeli organizations are

linked to the laboratories in the Netherlands and are responsible for the

worldwide distribution.

"Israeli drug distribution organizations are currently the main source for

distribution of the drug to groups inside the U.S., to smuggling through

express mail services, through couriers on commercial flights and, recently,

through air cargo," states the report. In the past two years, the U.S. has

dealt more severely with ecstasy. Federal judges deal with smugglers in the

ecstasy trade with the same severity as heroin and cocaine dealers.


Adelaide Institute comment:

The Afghanistan Talibans opposed the drug trade and thus had to be removed. Now other Middle East countries must be made safe for this trade to flourish.

Was Iraq also an uncomfortable player in this trade?




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