Police arrested six men from the Haifa area suspected of stealing alcohol worth some NIS 1 million ($273,000).

The arrests were made after one of the men, a truck driver, reported he had been robbed. A police investigation found he had faked the robbery and helped his friends get their hands on the cargo of booze, police said Sunday.

Of the six suspects, three were known to the police as belonging to a local criminal organization, according to media reports.

The heist came days after recent taxation changes on intoxicating beverages doubled the price of many local products.

Last week, a storage center near Jerusalem belonging to wine retailer Avi Ben was burgled and bottles worth hundreds of thousands of shekels were stolen. 

Ben told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily that the theft and the recent hike in prices following a taxation policy change were most likely connected.

The tax hike on alcoholic beverages was implemented July 1, raising the cost of many cheaper local products while dropping it for more expensive imported spirits.