US returns smuggled Egyptian artifacts

Published April 23rd, 2015 - 02:30 GMT
The US returned dozens of Egyptian artifacts that were smuggled out of the Middle East. Image used for illustrative purposes. (AFP/File)
The US returned dozens of Egyptian artifacts that were smuggled out of the Middle East. Image used for illustrative purposes. (AFP/File)

The US returned dozens of Egyptian artifacts that were smuggled out of the Middle East, AFP reported Thursday.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the items, linked to a global criminal network, were given back to the Egyptian government during a ceremony in Washington. The artifacts were traced back to the UAE, the UK, Iraq and other nations along with Egypt. 

Among the items was a Greco-Roman style ancient sarcophagus, found in a Brooklyn garage in 2009.

"To think that some of these treasured artifacts were recovered from garages, exposed to the elements, is unimaginable," ICE director Sarah Saldana said in a statement, according to AFP.

The ICE's ongoing five-year investigation, called Operation Mummy's Curse, in the criminal network has so far led to four indictments, two convictions, 19 search warrants and $3 million worth of item recoveries, the ICE said. 

 


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