European police bust gang smuggling artifacts out of Italy
Updated 03:01, 20-Nov-2019
Archaeologists working in Rome (Credit: AP/Andrew Medichini)

Archaeologists working in Rome (Credit: AP/Andrew Medichini)

An international gang that smuggled thousands of Greek artifacts out Italy were stopped by European police on 18 November. A task force from multiple countries have arrested 23 suspects between 59 and 30 years of age. 

The police from France, Germany, Serbia and Italy had carried out 103 searches between 2017 and 2019 for the investigation. Two suspects are currently in jail and the other 21 are under house arrest, according to La Repubblica. 

Some of the looted objects were around 2400-years-old and from the Calabria region in Italy. The suspects had artifacts valued at around $2,000,000 when they were arrested. 

The stolen goods were sold across Europe through contacts in France, Germany, the UK and Serbia. Europol and Eurojust told AFP: "The looting carried out over the course of several years caused considerable damage to Italian cultural heritage."

The gang used bulldozers to find the objects, which included plates, vases and oil lamps some dating back to the third century BC. 

Source(s): AFP