East Jerusalem: 5 antiquities dealers arrested for fraud worth $20 million

Five residents of East Jerusalem were arrested when they were found with numerous antiquities, cash and two luxury cars. The suspects were arrested on suspicion of fraud in the antiquities sector worth $20 million.
Among the antiquities seized in East Jerusalem Photo Credit: IAA Theft Unit/ Channel 2 News

A joint operation of the Israel Police, the Israel Tax Authority and the Israel Antiquities Authority that took place early Sunday morning seized numerous antiquities, luxury cars and NIS 800,000 in cash in East Jerusalem. Five antiquities dealers, residents of East Jerusalem, were arrested on suspicion of international fraud worth $20 million.

The investigation began several months ago when law enforcement officials in the US provided information to the Israel Antiquities Authority about antiquities dealers who were issuing fictitious invoices intended to help an American partner with their tax returns.

Among the antiquities seized in East Jerusalem Photo Credit: IAA Theft Unit/ Channel 2 News

At the end of the covert investigation, the Israel Police, together with the IAA's theft unit and the Tax Authority, raided the homes of the suspected traffickers. During the raid, the security forces came across many antiquities, including some from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, along with NIS 800,000 in cash and two luxury vehicles.

Among the antiquities seized in East Jerusalem Photo Credit: IAA Theft Unit/ Channel 2 News

Upon their arrest, the suspects were taken for questioning. Later today, they will be brought before the court, where the police will seek to extend their detention.



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