Police in Israel have arrested six people suspected of smuggling millions of dollars worth of diamonds into the country, a spokesman for a court in Tel Aviv said Tuesday.
There are conflicting reports on the identities of the suspects, who are accused of illegally importing several hundreds of millions of shekels worth of diamonds during the course of several years, police said.
According to the court spokesman, who was speaking after a reporting ban on the case was lifted, one of the suspects arrested is a relative of Russian-Israeli diamond mogul, Lev Leviev.
Other media reports in Israel, however, claim that two of Leviev’s relatives are among the individuals arrested, along with four people involved with his dealings in Israel and Russia.
The six suspects were detained on charges of diamond smuggling, money-laundering and violating tax regulations.
According to reports from the daily Haaretz, police began investigating the case in March and the damages could amount to around 81 million dollars.
Haaretz reported – quoting a statement from Leviev’s company – that the company has denied the charges, saying Leviev and the companies under his control were acting in accordance with the proper norms, while adhering to the law.
No spokesperson for the company was available for comments on the case.