The Wall Street Journal reports that Swiss authorities have had antiquities dealers Ali and Hicham Aboutaam under surveillance. In a separate investigations in Belgium and France authorities are trying to track whether the family has been trafficking in ISIS-looted antiquities.
Ali Aboutaam’s wife has been followed by the Swiss authorities:
Ms. Aboutaam was detained in early March for around two weeks after also failing to produce the proper documentation of ownership and origin for some objects. She was ultimately released without being charged.
After his arrest in Geneva, the driver told investigators that he had traveled several times to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, carrying small antiquities in his hand luggage, and that a person working with the Aboutaams was there to greet him, according to the people familiar with the probe.
“The situation involving Ali Aboutaam’s driver and wife pertains to the local VAT and is unrelated to any matters relating to alleged looting,” their lawyer, Mr. Temkin, said.