Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Basel Busts Portable Antiquities Smuggling Ring

There is possibly more to this report than meets the eye:
World radio: 'Basel busts antique smuggling ring', October 23, 2012
Basel prosecutors say they’ve arrested a 27-year-old Swiss man for receiving stolen antiques mainly from Eastern Europe. The man is said to have had 14,000 coins and 800 other antiques recovered by officials in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. Most of the goods went through Balkan middlemen, and dated from the Roman, Greek or Byzantine eras. Prosecutors said the Basel smuggler had been suspected for years, and is accused of money laundering, fraud, and multiple counts of violating laws on transferring cultural goods. Two accomplices in Switzerland are also being charged, but no other details were given.
So from where in "the Balkans" do the finds come? Can we infer that if they were travelling in the EU through Austria to Basle, that Germany (just across the border from Basle) was the intended destination? This is not the first time that marketeers from Basle have been involved in large-scale antiquities smuggling ...

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