Smuggled coins
Smuggled coinsTax Authority

Three residents of Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods were arrested Tuesday night at Ben Gurion International Airport following their arrival from Dubai.

The three are suspected of attempting to smuggle over 1,000 gold coins weighing more than eight kilograms (17.6 lbs), worth around two million shekel.

The coins were hidden in two special belts, which two of the three suspects wore on their persons.

The suspects were taken for interrogation by the Jerusalem Customs and Tax Authority's interrogation office, and brought before a Jerusalem Magistrates judge on Wednesday morning.

The judge extended the suspects' arrest by three days.

The suspects were arrested as part of a joint operation by the Jerusalem Customs and Tax Authority's Investigations Department and the Drugs and Customs Unit of Ben Gurion Airport against a network of gold smugglers from Dubai.

Approximately one month ago, another resident of Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods was arrested upon his return from Dubai. That suspect wore about a million shekels worth of gold on his body, hidden in a belt similar to those which were discovered on Tuesday.

It is suspected that the youth arrested one month ago belongs to the same network as those arrested Tuesday.

The coins confiscated Tuesday night are English sovereigns. These coins are 22 karats gold, and feature likenesses of English kings on one side and St. George and the Dragon on the other side. The coins are considered extremely valuable among coin collectors and merchants, and each one is worth approximately 2,000 NIS.

The smuggled coins
The smuggled coinsTax Authority
The smuggled coins
The smuggled coinsTax Authority