ABC News in Australia carried a fascinating article on 6th June saying that authorities in the US and Europe are uncovering growing evidence that priceless antiquities looted by Islamic State (IS) terrorists — including works from war-torn Syria — are being smuggled into Western art markets.  In recent weeks investigators in the US, Spain and Italy have made arrests, or moved to seize antiquities believed to have been plundered from historical sites in Syria, Libya and Egypt.  But some travel via third countries, such as Turkey, or sit in storage for years until it is easier to smuggle them into the West. In one case quoted, a California man was found with a mosaic — weighing nearly a ton and measuring 5.5 x 2.5 metres, and dating as far back as the 3rd Century and was likely stolen from Syria and smuggled to the US via Turkey.  In March, Spanish police arrested a renowned antiquities dealer, Jaume Bagot Peix, who is accused of years-long involvement in a smuggling ring that trafficked antiquities looted from Libya to finance the Islamic State group.


Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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