Bags of smuggled cigarettes
Bags of smuggled cigarettesIsrael Tax Authority

Badri Shimshilshvili was arrested Tuesday evening in Ben Gurion Airport after attempting to smuggle a commercial quantity of cigarettes into Israel without paying customs tax, the Tax Authority reported.

Shimshilshvili, a new immigrant, tried to use his status to avoid paying 500,000 NIS ($143,388) in tax.

Rishon Lezion's Magistrates Court agreed to Ben Gurion Airport Customs Authority's Drug Department's request and released the suspect on condition.

According to the arrest warrant, Shimshilshvili attempted on Tuesday night to walk through the "Green Lane" together with his luggage, and was pulled aside to be checked. The examination revealed 2,228 packets of Winston and Pall Mall cigarettes, packed in nineteen large bags which were to be used to bring his personal belongings from abroad. None of this was reported to customs.

The suspect was then taken to the offices of the Customs Authority's Drug Department, where he connected himself to the cigarettes during an interrogation.

Judge Rina Hirsch has barred Shimshilshoyli from leaving Israel for a period of 180 days, and said he can be released on bail for a sum of 50,000 NIS ($14,339).

The confiscated bags of cigarettes
The confiscated bags of cigarettesIsrael Tax Authority

Confiscated cigarettes at Ben Gurion Airport
Confiscated cigarettes at Ben Gurion AirportIsrael Tax Authority