The New York Times picks up a report from European police that an 18-country task force code named Pandora that has investigated 48,000 people suspected of being involved in illegal trafficking in artefacts has resulted in the arrest of 75 persons and the seizure of 3500 objects:
The criminal network handled artworks looted from war-stricken countries, as well as works stolen from museums and other sites, the statement said.
The task force’s press release itemized some of the objects and investigation:
- 3 561 works of art and cultural goods were seized, almost half of which were archaeological objects; 500 archaeological objects were found in Murcia, Spain, of which 19 were stolen in 2014 from the Archaeological Museum in Murcia;
- over 400 coins from different periods were seized following investigations into suspicious online advertisements;
- 75 individuals were arrested;
- 48 588 persons, 29 340 vehicles and 50 ships were checked;
- 92 new investigations were initiated.
75 Arrested in European Crackdown on Art Trafficking (The New York Times)