Dozens of people arrested in operation aimed at smugglers of cultural objects – Norway participated in the effort

EuropolPhoto: AP Photo / Mike Corder, File
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A global operation against the illegal trade in cultural objects has led to 52 arrests and seizures of 9,400 cultural objects worldwide.

The seizures in the Pandora VI operation include archeological finds, furniture, coins, paintings, statues, and musical instruments, Europol wrote in a press release.

The authorities in 28 countries – including Norway – participated in the operation, which lasted four months – from June to September last year. 

Checks were carried out at airports and border posts in addition to auction houses, museums, and private homes. The effort was especially aimed at e-commerce sites, and the Netherlands set up a separate online patrol to uncover suspicious sales.

More arrests expected

More than 170 cases are still under investigation, and more arrests and seizures are expected.

Among the many thousands of items seized is a Spanish gold hoard consisting of coins from the Roman Empire. The investigation that led to the seizure began when three of the coins were found in a well-known auction house in Madrid.

In France, customs officers found over 4,200 items – including over 3,000 coins – that had been collected and stolen by an individual with a metal detector. More significant seizures were also made in the USA, the Netherlands, Greece, and Italy.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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