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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