Police arrested four men aged between 26 and 35 in Ramat Gan yesterday, on suspicion of operating a marijuana-growing laboratory in a private home in the city's plush Ramat Hen neighborhood.
Two of the suspects are municipal employees from Ramat Gan, and the other two are brothers from Hod Hasharon and Yehud. Some 26kg of the drug were confiscated in the raid.
According to police, the house was under surveillance for over a month, following an intelligence tip-off about men growing hydroponic marijuana in Ramat Gan. The arrested men are said to have been seen visiting the house for a few hours every day. "The house is large and surrounded by a tall hedge. None of the neighbors noticed anything suspicious", said Chief Superintendent Yedidia Sabag, head of the drugs division in the Tel Aviv central unit. "They were growing some 150 plants, using the most advanced technological equipment."
On Tuesday morning, the police decided to disclose their investigation, and one of the suspects was arrested when leaving the house.
The detectives who entered the property are said to have found dozens of marijuana plants, surrounded by special lighting and air-conditioning systems aiding their growth.
"Initial estimates indicate that the value of the drugs comes to about NIS 1.5 million," Sabag said.
The arrested suspect is said to have admitted to growing the drug, having learned the process via the Internet. Three other suspects were arrested later in the day, on suspicion of involvement in the growing of the drug and producing marijuana for commercial use. The detectives also confiscated cash and the suspects' vehicles. Their remand was extended by eight days yesterday by a Tel Aviv court.
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