Zohar Kohavi: Caught in a police raid at Lennox Head.
Zohar Kohavi: Caught in a police raid at Lennox Head.

$100,000 ecstasy bust in Lennox

AN ISRAELI national faced the Lismore Local Court yesterday following his arrest on Wednesday in possession of nearly half-a-kilogram of ecstasy powder at a Lennox Head motel.

Acting on intelligence, police from the Richmond Local Area Command's drug unit swooped on the motel in Ballina Street about 3.30pm, seizing drugs and cash, and arresting 28-year-old Zohar Kohavi.

With the assistance of a drug sniffer dog, police seized 458 grams of MDMA ecstasy powder with an estimated street value of $100,000, and $4635 in cash.

The raid was part of Operation Jill – initiated last month to target the commercial supply of cocaine and other drugs in the Ballina area.

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager, Detective Inspector Greg Moore, commended detectives and police from the drug unit for the arrest, but added that detection rates for cocaine and similar drugs throughout the area remained stable.

“Police are always keen to detect the supply of any illicit drugs to protect vulnerable members of society,” he said yesterday.

Kohavi appeared before Magistrate Jeff Linden charged with possessing a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, and for possession of cash known to be from the proceeds of crime.

His legal aid lawyer, Ben Cochrane, made no application for bail and no plea was entered. Kohavi remains in custody and will reappear in Lismore in September.

Kohavi, who lists his occupation as a restaurant worker, has been in Australia on a bridging visa since June 2006 and had applied for temporary residency status.

He is awaiting sentencing on other drug charges and will face court next month.

They relate to his arrest in Byron Bay while driving under the influence of MDMA (ecstasy) on August 24 last year.

At that time he was found in possession of 80 ecstasy pills, a quantity of cannabis seeds, and $1500 cash, thought to be the proceeds of crime.

Kohavi was also arrested in June this year and charged with assault, malicious damage and driving while disqualified.

In that incident the Ballina Local Court was told Kohavi had ridden past the Ballina Hotel waving a big knife after being ejected earlier that evening.

Kohavi had threatened to kill his housemate, Luke Christensen, earlier in the day, chasing him 50 metres up a driveway before puncturing two tyres on Mr Christensen's car.

He pleaded guilty to those charges and also to carrying a knife and failing to leave a licensed premises. He was given a suspended six-month sentence.

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