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Moti Kimchi
Shalom Domrani Photo by Moti Kimchi

The son of a senior official in the southern Israeli town of Kiryat Gat was arrested recently for operating a marijuana greenhouse for crime boss Shalom Domrani.

Gabriel Efraimov was arrested late last week in a police raid on two laboratories for growing marijuana hydroponically. Efraimov, whose father is Deputy Mayor Ya’akov Efraimov, is suspected of having run the larger one.

He is allegedly a member of the Domrani crime family, which is involved in drug trafficking, loan sharking and extorting protection money from area businesses.

In a raid by Lachish District police on a large industrial building located on Nissan Street in Kiryat Gat’s industrial zone, more than 600 marijuana plants and about 15 kilograms of marijuana ready for sale were seized. Also seized were fertilizers, gardening tools, heat lamps to accelerate plant growth and irrigation and professional lighting systems with an estimated value of hundreds of thousands of shekels.

Two additional suspects were arrested together with Efraimov. On Tuesday their detention was extended by seven days. All the men are in their twenties.

Area police have uncovered a number of hydroponic marijuana labs recently, many of them directly connected to Domrani’s crime organization. “The distribution of drugs in commercial quantities, like those that were seized, is a cause of crime and a source of funding and power for criminal elements,” Chief Inspector Ran Malka of the Lachish District investigations department said, adding, “We will continue our battle against crime, using all the resources at our disposal.”