Mon, 23 Sep 2019

Ukraine's SBU security service said it detained an Israeli-American suspected of heading a major online drug-dealing ring a day after he escaped while being extradited to Israel.

Amos Dov Silver was apprehended "in one of the regions of our country," the SBU said on its website.

He will be "extradited in the near future in accordance with the current legislation," the statement said.

Three SBU officers were also detained on suspicion of helping the Israeli escape from Kyiv's Boryspil Airport to "avoid extradition," the SBU said.

Silver was arrested in March for allegedly running a network that spanned the United States, Ukraine, Israel, and Germany, using Telegram, a popular encrypted messaging application.

At the time, Israeli police said the network had a turnover of tens of millions of dollars.

The arrest comes a day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official visit to Ukraine on August 18-20.

He is the first Israeli prime minister to visit the country in 20 years and the first national leader to visit Ukraine since Volodymyr Zelenskiy was elected in April.

Earlier this month, Zelenskiy signed a free-trade pact with Israel that parliament ratified a month earlier.

Zelenskiy and Netanyahu are scheduled on August 19 to visit the Babyn Yar memorial, the site in Kyiv where Nazis killed more than 33,000 Jews in 1941, as well as Ukrainian nationalists, Roma, homosexuals, and others whom they considered "undesirables."

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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