Several Russian lawmakers were briefly detained at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport on suspicion of attempting to smuggle 100,000 euros ($137,000) in cash into the country, a news report said Wednesday.
Sums worth more than 99,000 shekels ($27,400) must be declared upon entry into Israel, but a bodyguard for one of the lawmakers did not inform the customs officers about the cash he was carrying, MIGnews.ru said, citing Israeli newspapers.
The lawmakers were released, but the money was confiscated despite protests, the report said.
MIGnews.ru did not identify the lawmakers and said the incident took place Tuesday, but Russian-language Israeli news web site IzRus.co.il said the incident occurred Sunday and involved billionaire Senator Suleiman Kerimov.
Police suspect the money was intended for a political campaign, IzRus.co.il added, without elaborating.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article attributed information about alleged involvement by Suleiman Kerimov and supposed political purpose of the money to IzRus.ru, which was the wrong web site address. The correct address is IzRus.co.il.