Monday, July 31, 2017

Antiquities dealers arrested in Jerusalem

APPREHENDED: POLICE ARREST 5 IN $20 MILLION BLACK MARKET ANTIQUITIES, TAX FRAUD STING. Rare antiquities, NIS 800,000 in cash, and luxury cars were seized from east Jerusalem suspects’ homes and businesses (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).
Following a protracted international joint undercover investigation, police on Sunday arrested five east Jerusalem antiquities dealers accused of a $20 million tax-fraud and artifacts scheme reaching as far as America.

According to police, the investigation was launched several months ago with US law-enforcement agencies, the Antiquities Authority and Israel Tax Authority after evidence surfaced that the dealers were involved in illegal transactions for seven years.

There is some information on the antiquities recovered:
“The antiquities that were seized included ancient parchment pieces written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin; ancient weapons; sculpture items from the Hellenistic and Roman periods; high-level murals; pottery and figurines; and many bronze, silver and gold coins,” he [police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld] said.
If these artifacts are genuine (a very big if at this stage) they sound quite important.

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