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More than $1 billion worth, including gold, diamonds and other precious stones has disappeared from the Old City of Jerusalem in the past 20 years, according to an Israeli newspaper.
The report, published by Israel’s largest newspaper Haaretz on Thursday, also said a police report filed in 2016 found that in the same period of time, police had confiscated almost 200 million shekels ($3.7 million) worth of jewellery, including some from private individuals.
The gold missing was estimated to be worth $1,200,000.
The police report was filed in 2015 after the death of former Jerusalem mayor and Israeli-American businessman Shimon Peres, who died of an acute kidney infection.
A second report was not released.
The findings, which were based on interviews with more than 50 people, were published on the website of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which oversees Israel’s criminal investigations and has the power to prosecute the countrys police.
The NBI said it was working on an official investigation and could not comment further.
“It was clear that some of the confiscated items belonged to the family of the deceased mayor, and that they were stored in the Old Town,” the NBI statement said.
“The confiscated items are being examined by the NBD (National Bureau of Investigations) and the Criminal Investigations Ministry to determine whether the items are relevant to the investigation.”
The Jerusalem municipality’s police said they had not yet received the report.
It is not clear how much the jewellery was worth.
But the report said that in a number of cases, police seized jewellery from people who had been arrested.
“We were able to verify that these items were for personal use,” the report stated.
“There was no way that they could be taken for the purpose of trafficking, and therefore the item was not a crime.”
The report did not specify who was to blame for the missing jewellery.
A spokesman for the National Board of Police Commissioners (NBP), which supervises police in Jerusalem, said the NBP would be looking into the report’s findings.
“This is a matter of concern,” the spokesman said.
“We will examine it.”