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November 5, 2018 12:39 pm

Israeli Authorities Arrest Six in Suspected Diamond Smuggling Scheme

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A trader inspects a 6.19 carat diamond worth $1.2 million during a four-day show at the trading floor of Israel’s Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Aug. 29, 2013. Photo: Reuters / Nir Elias / File.

Six people were arrested in Israel on Monday on suspicion of helping to smuggle about 300 million shekels’ ($81 million) worth of diamonds into the country since 2010.

The case focuses on the diamond company LLD, which is owned by billionaire dealer Lev Leviev, according to court documents. The suspects were remanded in custody until Sunday and their identities placed under a gag order.

Israel is a world center for diamond cutting and polishing, with one of the biggest exchanges in the world.

Israel’s tax authority and police said they suspected each of the six of a role in a conspiracy to smuggle the diamonds.

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Officials at LLD were not reachable for immediate comment.

“The investigating units intend to carry out more arrests of suspects in Israel and abroad,” police said in a statement.

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