Online drugs ring: Israel requests INTERPOL Purple Notice

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The mobile application, known as Telegrass, offered door-to-door delivery of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, among other services.

LYON, France – An INTERPOL Purple Notice has been issued to all 194 member countries in connection with the Telegrass online drugs network, outlining its modus operandi and methods for detection.

The publication of the Purple Notice follows an international Israeli police operation which led to the arrest in four countries of 42 people on suspicion of running the drugs distribution network.

The arrests were made in Germany, Israel, the United States and Ukraine, including the alleged leader of the crime ring who was arrested in Ukraine.

Issued at the request of Israeli authorities, the Purple Notice also seeks further information on the individuals and networks behind the drugs ring.

In addition to selling drugs such as marijuana, hashish, cocaine and ecstasy, those arrested are suspected of running an international organized crime ring, also involving money laundering and tax offences.

Investigators say the Telegrass drugs ring was run like a business. Each suspected drug dealer reportedly choose the pattern of the delivery and payments, with specific units handling illicit activities and specific drugs, with payments made in cash, bitcoin or with drugs, while disguising the source of the money.

Methods of delivery included door-to-door delivery, with designated carriers sometimes disguised as Pizza couriers.

Minors are also believed to have bought drugs through Telegrass. During raids conducted at the same time as the arrests, the police found money, drugs and technology used by the group to run the drugs ring over the Internet.

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