Photo: Getty Image
Diamonds found in luggage
Photo: Getty Image
Man tries to smuggle $200,000 worth of diamonds into Israel
Georgian man arouses suspicion of customs agents, who open his luggage to find rough diamonds worth hundreds of thousands of shekels
Diamonds worth over NIS 700,000 (around $200,000) were confiscated by the Ben Gurion International Airport's Department of Customs. Unit officers arrested a Georgian citizen who was attempting to smuggle the precious stones into Israel, and the Magistrate's Court in Ramla released the suspect under specified conditions.


The suspect, Tangis Kikinashvili, picked up his luggage after landing in Israel. He passed through the green customs lane (meaning nothing to declare), but aroused the suspicion of the drug and customs officers. When customs agents opened his luggage they were shocked to discover a large amount of rough diamonds.


Kikinashvili was brought in for questioning by the Department of Customs in Ben Gurion Airport, where he confessed to have known about the law requiring the payment of duties to customs on certain goods. He also estimated the value of the diamonds at NIS 700,000.


However the customs unit investigating the case claims the value of the diamonds is much higher than the sum declared by the suspect. An electronic check verified that the suspect is not a member of the Israeli Stock Exchange, and therefore not permitted to trade diamonds in the country.


The officers also voiced a suspicion by which the diamonds were not declared because they had been part of an offense committed against the Kimberly Treaty of 2002 – an international treaty designed to eliminate the phenomena of 'conflict diamonds' or 'blood diamonds'.


פרסום ראשון: 08.04.08, 22:01
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