US Official in Cairo to Collect Evidence against Antiquities Smuggler
New York State Deputy District Attorney Marsha Ezakson has arrived in Cairo to a follow up on a case against an American accused of dealing in smuggled Egyptian antiquities, according to Al Akhabar Arabic daily on Tuesday.
Fredrick Sholtz, who allegedly smuggled seven unique pieces into the US, is now free on bail pending a hearing in October.
The daily said that Minister of Culture Farouq Hosni had ordered his staff to put all available evidence and information at the disposal of the visiting attorney.
A federal court indicted Sholtz last month on charges of trading in stolen Egyptian artifacts, including the head of the Montahotep Statue, which he reportedly sold for $1.2 million.
The court also accused Sholtz, who owns a showroom for art and Oriental collectibles, of attempting to sell another ancient Egyptian statue for $825,000.
Should the dealer be convicted, he will receive a five-year jail term and a fine exceeding $250,000.
The American prosecutor has accused Sholtz of illegally trading in stolen monuments in the period 1990-1996, and of obtaining these items through an Egyptian partner whose name was not revealed.
The prosecutor said the antiquities were found by construction workers, and that the Egyptian partner claimed in a message to Sholtz that he had found the contents of a Pharaonic temple in 1994.
Sholtz then allegedly transferred money to his partner’s account at a Swiss bank.
Al Akhbar said that an Egyptian delegation of experts would head for the US to testify in the trial – Albawaba.com