Dozens of Nazi insignia and other memorabilia which are not allowed to be imported into Israel were seized at the main Haifa post office this week, the Tax Authority said yesterday.
The man suspected of importing the items, a 41-year-old Hatzor Haglilit resident who is said to be a collector and trader in Nazi memorabilia, was arrested. He was released on bond Wednesday by the Haifa Magistrate's Court.
The Tax Authority said the case surfaced as a result of a routine examination by the authority's drug and customs unit at the Haifa post office in which a package from Germany addressed to the suspect containing the memorabilia, including a number of items with Nazi swastikas, was found.
In a search by tax authorities and the police of the suspect's home, hundreds of Nazi medals and insignia as well as literature and documents from the Nazi period and from World War I were found. The suspect is also said to have carefully stored the packaging and invoices from the shipments from Germany.
Under questioning, the man allegedly acknowledged ordering the items on a German website specializing in Nazi memorabilia, which reportedly is said to have a well-known Premier League soccer player from England among its customers, although customs officials declined to disclose his name.
The suspect is thought to have traded in Nazi memorabilia worth tens of thousands of euros or more.
"The suspect saw no problem in trading in these items, Haifa customs official Doron Samara said, adding "for us it was hard to see this collection, which included symbols, including symbols from the SS."
Samara acknowledged, however, that there was demand for the memorabilia not only abroad but also in Israel.
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