Israeli Antiquities Agents Abort Huge Smuggling Operation
Israeli agents for the prevention of antiquities theft uncovered on Monday a container ready to be shipped to the United States that was filled with hundreds of ancient artifacts pillaged from archaeological sites, reported The Jerusalem Post newspaper.
The container was packed to the brim with dozens of crates.
Working with Customs officials, the agents located the container and had it opened, said the paper.
Amir Ganor, head of the theft prevention unit, said that agents were directed to the container by an "intelligence tip."
All the artifacts were believed to have been pillaged from archaeological sites throughout Israel and the West Bank.
The finds included hundreds of pieces of ancient pottery, glass and bronze items, coins and carved stonework.
"We are still opening the crates. There are so many. The scope of this theft is horrific," said Ganor, adding that the robbers caused irreparable damage to archaeological sites and destroyed any chance of learning the sites' history - Albawaba.com
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