Egypt Independent

Members of artifact smuggling gang arrested in New York



Two days ago security authorities in New York arrested three people involved in the trade of Egyptian artifacts.

The three are part of an international ring that includes a Jordanian who lives in the United Arab Emirates.

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass received information from authorities in New York that Egyptian artifacts were on display at an exhibition in the city. The artifacts were seized by security.

In statements to the press on Friday, Hawass said in a few days US authorities will give Egypt the names of Egyptians implicated in artifact smuggling and money laundering. Hawass said the seized artifacts include relics from Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Palestine. Some confiscated tombs date back to (660 BC-1070 BC) and the 26th dynasty, he said.

Hawass said ten Egyptian artifacts were seized, adding that he agreed with US authorities to keep procedures secret until all members of the gang are arrested.

He said he expects more Egyptian artifacts to be discovered within hours at the home of one of the suspects.

Hawass also said that the tombs will be returned to Egypt over the next few months after the suspects are tried.

Translated from the Arabic Edition