The owner of a U.S. jewelry maker who attempted to cross the green channel at Domodedovo Airport with more than 25 million rubles ($800,000) worth in jewelry and watches is suspected of evading customs duties, investigators said Wednesday.
Leon Landver, 63, faces five years in prison if charged with evading more than 8.5 million rubles in duties. A LinkedIn Russia profile in his name lists him as the CEO of M&L Jewelry. It was not immediately clear whether he had been taken into custody.
After landing on a flight from Geneva on Sept. 9, Landver attempted to pass through the green customs channel, designated for passengers who have nothing to declare, the transportation branch of the Investigative Committee said in a statement.
He was stopped by a customs officer, and a body search revealed several wristwatches and 161 pieces of jewelry, the statement said.
This is at least the fourth incident in recent months involving U.S. citizens attempting to smuggle jewelry into Russia, Interfax reported.
In September, a Khimki court gave Delta Air Lines flight attendant Susanna Dikker a 220,000 ruble fine for attempting to smuggle 8 million rubles worth of jewelry into Russia. Another flight attendant from the U.S. figured in a similar case last month.
On Oct. 26, a court in Domodedovo fined a U.S. national 200,000 rubles for attempting to smuggle exclusive wristwatches worth 18 million rubles, Interfax said.