Israel Tax Authority agents stymied an apparent attempt to smuggle ten kilograms of antiquities into Jordan at the Allenby Bridge Crossing on May 31.
The antiquities, consisting of statues and coins, were hidden in a Mercedes vehicle belonging to the Norwegian embassy. Customs investigators searched the vehicle and found the antiquities stored in packaged cartons that were hidden in the vehicle’s side compartments.
The driver of the Norwegian embassy’s vehicle, Issa Nagam, from the northern Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina was arrested on suspicion of smuggling the antiquities out of the country. Nagam was taken for further questioning to the Customs Investigations Unit in Jerusalem.
The suspect was later released on bail by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court. Customs authorities stopped an attempt to smuggle goods worth approximately 2.6 million USD (NIS 10 million) out of the country in a European Union vehicle earlier this year.