Customs inspectors caught a Jordanian diplomat red handed trying to sneak dozens of kilograms of gold and hundreds of smartphones into Israel, in a near identical incident to a smuggling attempt in the car of a European Union (EU) representative just a month ago.
In the thwarted smuggling on Sunday, Israeli inspectors at the Allenby Bridge Crossing on the Jordan border near Jericho found the illegal goods in the private car of a Jordanian diplomat who serves at the Jordanian embassy, as he crossed in to Israel.
The inspectors had their suspicions tipped off when they found dozens of smartphones of various types in the car of the Jordanian embassy staffer.
In a more thorough inspection, they found another 300 or so smartphones, and dozens of kilograms of gold bars and jewelry thought to be made from real gold.
At the end of the search, the diplomat was allowed to return to Jordan.
As noted the incident comes nearly exactly a month after gold bars and around 700 smartphones were found in the car of an EU representative to Israel crossing in from Jordan at the same exact checkpoint.
Dozens of kilograms of gold, hundreds of smartphones and a full package of steroid drugs were discovered by customs inspectors in the car, which belonged to the EU. The EU diplomat was detained and later released, and his driver – an Arab resident of the northern Atarot neighborhood of Jerusalem – was detained for investigation.
All together the seized goods reached an estimated value of around 10 million shekels (over $2.5 million).