Egypt police arrest artifact gang in Cairo, seize ancient pieces: Ministry
Ayat Al Tawy, Wednesday 5 Sep 2018
Egyptian police have arrested 11 people and seized 22 ancient Egyptian artifacts as authorities
identified a gang dealing in stolen archeological treasures.
Authorities identified the gang after the wife of one of its members reported her husband's
disappearance following his abduction by two men who said were deceived into paying him 5 million
EGP (approx. $280,000) to invest in the sale of archeological artifacts.
The interior ministry said all the gang members have been captured, releasing a video showing 11
people arrested including the two men who paid the money.
The footage showed the recovered pieces, which include 22 statues of different sizes, including
waist-length sculptures, as well as two wooden boxes.
Police also seized huge sums of money and a quantity of opium with the men, the ministry said in the
Illegal trade in antiquities and illegal excavation has flourished in Egypt in recent years. Two
months ago, Egyptian authorities received hundreds of ancient artifacts from Italy after they were
recovered from smugglers in May. The pieces went on display at the Egyptian museum in Cairo in July.
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