On 13 April, the Regulatory Review published an article arguing that stronger regulations are needed to combat antiquities trafficking that finances terrorist activity. Sales of stolen cultural property and art from conflict zones around the world have helped terrorist organizations like ISIS continue to fund their illegal activities. These complex operations span the globe and implicate parties as diverse as archaeologists and Facebook. It says that the ad hoc nature of domestic regulatory oversight and policing gives rise to a need for legislation that can stem the flow of antiquities revenue going to ISIS, which some estimates place as high as $100 million. It says that ISIS grants licences to certain approved individuals to sell the artifacts, which are often shipped through Singapore or Thailand before reaching their final destination — a way to obscure their looted origins. It says that no single US law exclusively governs the trafficking of stolen cultural artifacts. [Note that EU and UK law, on the other hand, does have legislation targeting illicitly removed cultural and archaeological material].
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