Son and brother of ‘Diamond King’ Lev Levaev arrested in Israel for gemstone smuggling
In total, six people have been placed in custody on charges of organizing illegal scheme.
In Israel, six defendants have been detained in a high-profile case of smuggling of diamonds worth $81.5 million from Russia. This is reported by Meduza referring to the Russian-language Israeli portal 9 Kanal.
The detainees include the son and brother of the well-known Israeli and British businessman Lev Levaev, the sources said. All six of them have been placed in custody by a court decision.
According to the investigation, the persons detained worked under the scheme he developed for several years. They are charged with money-laundering, tax and customs offenses, criminal conspiracy, fraud, and falsification of documents. The houses of the defendants have been searched; their accounts, as well as part of their property, have been attached.
The portal notes that the smuggling scheme was exposed after an employee of LLD Diamonds arrived in Tel Aviv airport (the company that manages diamond projects of Lev Levaev). The employee was detained with diamonds in his suitcase. He agreed to cooperate with the investigation and turned on other participants in the smuggling scheme.
During the investigation, it turned out that diamonds were mined outside Russia, transported to a Russian enterprise, and then to Israel.
It is noted that five defendants in the case work for LLD Diamonds offices in Russia and Israel. One more defendant was the top manager of this company until 2011, and now he owns one percent of the shares of LLD Diamonds. The police believe that the son and brother of Levaev were directly related to the organization of smuggling and sales. Ynet’s sources on the diamond exchange in Ramat-Gan (a city east of Tel Aviv) said that some suspects call themselves the perpetrators, and Lev Levaev the main organizer of the scheme.
LLD Diamonds's press service said that the businessman did not violate the law, and he has not been charged. As for the rest of the employees, company representatives hope that this issue will be resolved and “suspicions will, in the long term, prove unfounded.”