Billionaire philanthropist Lev Leviev’s name is mentioned in connection with an ongoing investigation involving diamond smuggling in the sum of hundreds of millions of shekels, which involves Leviev’s son Zevulun and others, YWN-Israel reported. As such, police of the Lahav 433 Major Crimes Unit of Israel Police have announced Leviev himself may be placed under arrest if they feel the need if he arrives in Israel, Chevra Chadashot News reported, and he will not be given any special considerations due to his status. In fact, as the original article reported, police are considering filing an extradition request against him. The news report added that if Leviev comes to visit Israel, he may or may not be arrested and he may not be permitted to leave when he wishes.
The source in the police unit quoted in the news report anonymously indicated that the scheduled date for Leviev’s questioning does not currently play a factor in the outcome of the entire case, adding, “If possible, Leviev will be held under house arrest and he may have to be arrested and he will not be permitted to return to Moscow, London or wherever he wishes to travel”. It appears the decision will be based on developments revealed as the investigation progresses.
It was learned from earlier reports that the investigation revealed that a worker at one of Lev Leviev’s factories in Russia smuggled a large quantity of diamonds worth millions of shekels to Israel when he arrived six years ago as a ‘returning resident’. The diamonds apparently originated in Africa, then moved to Russia and then smuggled into Israel.
It is suspected that the diamonds were sold in Israel without being reported to the tax authorities. In a raid conducted by the detectives of the Israel Police Major Crimes Unit on his home, hundreds of diamond-related shipping documents were found. As reported, Zevulun Leviev is cooperating fully with investigators in the case.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)