Diamond dealer vanishes in Athens

Jerusalem resident and diamond dealer Shmuel Levy has apparently disappeared into thin air in Athens.

Jerusalem resident and diamond dealer Shmuel Levy has apparently disappeared into thin air in Athens. His son, Reuven Levy, who is in Greece searching for him, told The Jerusalem Post from Athens that his father had been traveling to Greece on business for the past four years. On this last trip, Shmuel Levy, 66, was due to return in time for Yom Kippur on a flight that was to leave Athens in the early hours of October 12. The family was alerted before he failed to arrive at Ben-Gurion on his scheduled flight. On October 10, his wife had unsuccessfully attempted to reach him on his cellphone, which Reuven said he always kept switched on. On the afternoon of October 11, when Shmuel did not turn up at his travel agent in Athens to pick up his return ticket, the travel agent telephoned the family as he was concerned. Reuven Levy immediately bought a one-way ticket to Greece. He got in touch with the American Embassy, as his father was traveling on his American passport, the Israeli Embassy and the Greek police. It was ascertained that Shmuel had gone about business as usual on October 10 and had seen "a few people," said Levy, "but by the late afternoon or early evening he had disappeared." He said there were no signs of a break-in at his father's apartment. "My father's Bible was there on the table," said Levy. "His tefillin and tallit were there in the apartment, his two passports, his jewelry, even his merchandise. His wallet was there but there was no money in it." Levy does not think that the empty wallet is necessarily suspicious, as his father sometimes carried his money in his pocket. He rejects the possibility that his father may have wanted to disappear. "We cannot exclude international terrorism, especially since my father is both an American and an Israeli citizen," he said. Another son, Michael, said he was concerned that the Israeli government was not as involved in searching for his father as it could be. Reuven believes and hopes that confidential investigations by the Israelis may be going on.