Among the large number of Israelis passing through Ben Gurion Airport over the past few weeks were some who attempted to smuggle valuables into Israel in order to avoid paying taxes.


Illustration Photo credit: Moshe Shai/ Flash 90

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis traveled abroad over the past couple of months but the holiday season has now officially come to an end. Some travelers chose not to declare their goods purchased abroad in order to avoid paying taxes and some even tried to hide illegal goods.

The Israeli Customs Authority recalled the most notable items smugglers attempted to bring through Ben Gurion Airport during September and October. Out of 2,000 different bags attained by the Israeli Customs Authority were 630 that contained cigarettes, exactly 8,922 packets. The travelers who were caught paid a sum of nearly 2 million shekels in fines.

459 bags included cellular devices. A total of 581 devices were seized. In this case, the travelers paid a sum of half a million shekels in fines. In addition, jewelry worth 2 million shekels was found in dozens of bags along with 36 portable drones and 14 luxury watches worth 271,377 shekels.

Drug dealers also attempted to smuggle into Israel illegal substances. In the past couple of months, Ben Gurion Airport confiscated drugs worth 25 million shekels.

The holiday of Sukkot also brought a slightly different type of smuggling as 3 bags containing 103 citrons and 2 other bags containing 800 willow branches were confiscated.

Head of Ben Gurion Airport Customs Department Yosi Ben Ishai stated: “As a result of the increased enforcement in the last months when traffic was greater than usual, many smuggling attempts of different products such as cigarettes, smartphones, jewelry, luxury watches, steroids and hard drugs worth millions of shekels were prevented.”