A federal grand jury indicted two West Valley City residents Wednesday on allegations they helped smuggled Peruvian artifacts, including pre-Columbian vessels, to the United States.
Cesar Guarderas, 70, and his wife Rosa Isabel Guarderas, 45, were arrested March 25 following an investigation that began in October. They will make their first court appearance Friday.
Two other men also are named in the indictment: Javier Abanto-Sarmiento, 39, and Alfredo Abanto-Sarmiento, 36, of Trujillo, Peru. Javier Abanto-Sarmiento and Rosa Isabel Guarderas are siblings.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents arrested Javier Abanto-Sarmiento on March 4 when he arrived in Miami from Peru. Read more.
AMMAN, Jordan – A Syrian government official warned Wednesday of rampant trafficking in antiquities from his country and appealed for U.N. help in halting the illicit trade that has flourished during the nearly 23-month-long civil war.
Syria’s turmoil has increasingly threatened the country’s rich archaeological heritage but the issue of smuggling artifacts has taken a back seat to more dramatic images as some of the most significant sites got caught in the crossfire between regime forces and rebels.
President Bashar Assad’s troops have shelled rebel-held neighborhoods, smashing historic mosques, churches and souks, or markets. Looters have stolen artifacts from excavations and to a lesser extent, museums. Read more.
THESSALONIKI, GREECE — A retired policeman and a house painter have been arrested in northern Greece on suspicion of antiquities smuggling after an ancient gold wreath and armband were found in their car, police said Friday.
The suspects were stopped by highway police near the village of Asprovalta, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Thessaloniki late Thursday. Officers, who were working on a tip that the house painter might be trafficking in antiquities, found the 4th century B.C. artifacts in a shoebox under the passenger seat.
The wreath was a rare and valuable find, said Nikos Dimitriadis, head of the Thessaloniki police antiquities theft section.
“It is a product of an illegal excavation from a Macedonian grave, according to archaeologists (who examined it),” he said. Read more.
NEW YORK: An antiques dealer pleaded guilty Wednesday to smuggling ancient Egyptian treasures, including a coffin, to the United States.
Mousa Khouli, also known as Morris Khouli, aged 38, faces up to 20 years of prison for “smuggling Egyptian cultural property into the United States and making a false statement to law enforcement authorities,” the federal prosecutor’s office in New York said.
Khouli arranged for the purchase and smuggling of a Greco-Roman style Egyptian coffin, a three-part nesting coffin set, a set of Egyptian funerary boats, and Egyptian limestone figures between October 2008 and November 2009, officials said.
The antiquities were exported from Dubai into the United States with false documentation.
Khouli also settled a civil complaint seeking forfeiture of Egyptian and Iraqi artifacts, prosecutors said. (source)
The Antiquities Seizures Unit (ASU) arrested a British couple trying to smuggle 19 artifacts dated to different archaeological eras at Cairo International Airport on Sunday.
Hassan Rasmi head of the ASU said that these objects include five clay and green faience ancient Egyptian Ushabti (funerary figurines) each nine centimeters tall, clay pots with human-shaped heads, Late Period lamps decorated with winged amulets and the goddess Isis, Ostraca (inscribed stone reliefs), Graeco-Roman bronze coins and Coptic manuscripts, and a Bible.
In collaboration with the customs police, the objects were confiscated and transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square where it would be subjected to archaeological examination and restoration. Read more.
The Customs Police at the High Dam Port in the Upper Egypt city of Aswan Wednesday caught a Sudanese traveller attempting to illegally smuggle seven wooden boxes full of ancient Egyptian and Islamic artefacts out of the country.
The 50-year-old was arrested after policemen found that the boxes contained a wooden chair inlaid with ivory and pearls, clay and metal pots, as well as a number of statuettes and canopic jars. Investigations are underway to ascertain if the main was working alone or had colleagues in Egypt or abroad.
Hassan Rasmi, head of the Confiscation Department at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), told Ahram Online that an archaeological committee is to travel tonight to inspect the collection and check its authenticity. If deemed authentic, the artefacts would be transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo for restoration. (source)
THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greek police say they have recovered more than 70 items “of great archaeological importance” after an anti-antiquities smuggling operation in the northern city of Thessaloniki.
The Culture Ministry said more than 70 items dating from the 6th century B.C. were recovered Thursday. They included gold masks, four helmets, a glass perfume bottle, small clay statues and part of a gold diadem and parts of an iron sword decorated with gold leaf.
Police said two people were arrested in the operation.
The confiscated items were transported to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, where they were viewed by Prime Minister George Papandreou and government ministers. (source)
A grave-robbing group of ancient Egypt aficionados have been charged with smuggling 2000-year-old sarcophagus coffins - minus the mummies - into the U.S., authorities said Thursday.
Mousa “Morris” Khouli, the owner of Windsor Antiquities on E. 56th St., tried to dupe Customs officials by mislabeling the shipments of coffins and other artifacts as “antiques” and “wood panels,” according to an indictment unsealed in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Also charged are Salem Alshdaifat, who operated Holyland Numismatics in Michigan, and collector Joseph Lewis, of Virginia. Ayman Ramadan, an antiquity dealers from Dubai, UAE, is a fugitive. Read more.